Singapore has been steadily growing in importance as an international dispute resolution centre in Asia Pacific in recent years. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s (SIAC) 2015 annual report noted that the jurisdiction had enjoyed its best year since the body was founded in 1991. Not only was it a record year in terms of the highest ever number of cases filed (271), SIAC also reported that the cases involved the highest ever total of sums in dispute – S$6.23bn, around US$4.4bn.
Singapore is vying with Hong Kong for the top spot in Asia Pacific but still has some way to go. The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre’s (HKIAC) 2015 annual report records 271 arbitrations, 22 mediations and 227 domain name disputes. The total aggregate sums in dispute for arbitration matters were US$6.2bn, around a third more than Singapore. Hong Kong has a six-year head start on Singapore (HKIAC was founded in 1985), so it is not surprising that it hosts more international arbitrations. But now the city-state is bringing forward legislation to make alternative dispute resolution (ADR), whether arbitration or mediation, more accessible, hoping to close the gap on its rival.
Source: JAMS ADR