AUSTRALIA'S BID to promote itself as a desirable venue for international arbitration at last week's World Expo 2010 was a resounding success, according to the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) president, Doug Jones.
ACICA, along with the Australian Attorney-General's Department and the International Legal Services Advisory Council (ILSAC), held an Arbitration Forum and VIP luncheon for interested Australian and international commercial dispute resolution parties at the Shanghai Expo's Australian Pavilion last Friday.
"It went really well. I was really pleased," Jones told Lawyers Weekly.
"The mix of people there was really good and ... broadly speaking, the reaction was very positive. It was a great start to what will obviously need to be a continued effort in promoting Australia as a neutral venue to the Chinese. It's just a step down the path, but a very effective one."
The forum and luncheon were attended by numerous senior Chinese lawyers, judges and in-house counsel who were treated to Australian delicacies and speeches from Jones, Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler and Federal Court judge Patrick Keane.
"[Our] speeches were designed to bring to the attention of quite a large audience of Chinese [lawyers] the fact that Australia is open for business in terms of international arbitration," said Jones.
"We also had a group discussion on how to more effectively promote Australia as a neutral venue for Chinese parties and some very good ideas came out of that, which we are intending to follow up."
One such idea is enlisting a senior Chinese lawyer, who will be charged with promoting Australia as an arbitration destination.