Mediation over lawsuits, firms told

Update: August, 17/2018 - 09:00
Experts take questions from enterprises on commercial dispute resolution methods at a workshop titled "Arbitration and mediation: Advanced mechanisms for SME dispute resolutions" in HCM City on August 16. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Anh
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Using mediation to resolve commercial disputes and conflicts would not only help enterprises save time but also help them maintain good relations with business partners, a workshop heard in HCM City on August 16.

Trần Ngọc Liêm, deputy director of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s HCM City office, said greater economic integration brings Vietnamese enterprises both opportunities and an increasing number of commercial disputes.

With courts overburdened with a huge amount of lawsuits, enterprises should consider using mediation and arbitration to resolve commercial disputes to save time, he said.

“I think mediation is a civilised way to resolve conflicts and is used by more and more businesses around the world.”

After the Government issued Decree No 22 last year, Việt Nam has become the second country in Southeast Asia after Singapore to have regulations for commercial mediation, he said.

The Việt Nam Mediation Centre (VMC) was also established under the decree. Though the number of enterprises that know about the centre is still small, a VCCI survey found enterprises receptive to and very positive about mediation, he said.

“Seventy per cent of surveyed enterprises said they would use mediation to resolve disputes and tell other enterprises about this method. This is a good sign.”

Phan Trọng Đạt, deputy secretary general of the Việt Nam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) and deputy director of the VMC, said mediation is appropriate for Asian culture since Asians prefer to settle disputes in a peaceful way.

“No business likes disputes as it has spent a lot of money, effort and time to find a business partner and reach a contract.

“Once there is a conflict, they tend to find a soft way to resolve it. And mediation can help with that.

“When using mediation instead of taking the case to courts, business and personal relations can be maintained or even improved as they have understood each other better.

“Mediation is simply a negotiation with the participation of an independent mediator who can help both parties discuss their matter and reach their own agreement.”

He said the rate of successful mediation cases is very high in foreign countries since businesses always want to settle disputes as soon as possible.

He said with a regulatory framework for commercial mediation in place and the setting up of a mediation centre, enterprises have started looking at it.

“At the moment, there is a significant number of enterprises coming to the VMC and consulting on drafting mediation forms.

“Though we have not handled any mediation case yet, I believe this method will be preferred by enterprises in the coming time.”

According to a VMC survey, cost used to be listed as one of the reasons for enterprises not choosing this method to resolve commercial disputes.

Đạt said the centre charges a relatively low fee for mediation since it understands that most enterprises in Việt Nam are small or medium-sized and have financial issues.

“The centre has very carefully considered and set a fee that is affordable to most SMEs.”

The VMC now has 11 mediators, who are some of the country’s top experts in trade and commercial activities. — VNS