Mapping The Way Forward
ISDS Reform Conference 2019
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
13 February 2019
It is my great privilege and pleasure to welcome you to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (“Hong Kong SAR”) to take part in this leading international conference on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”) reform, which is co-organised by my Department and the Asian Academy of International Law.
ISDS reform has attracted much discussion in the international community in recent years. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) has also entrusted its Working Group III to work on the possible ISDS reform, and the representatives of the Hong Kong SAR Government have been participating actively in the discussion of that Working Group as part of the Chinese delegation.
CHENG, Teresa GBS SC JP
Secretary for Justice
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
NEOH, Anthony QC SC JP
Asian Academy of International Law
Investor-State Dispute Resolution has become an important subject for discussion because since the 1970s, the world has seen international investment both in terms of direct and portfolio investments unprecedented in any era of world history. Liberalisation of international investment and trade has enabled the world’s GDP to grow. The global flow of trade and capital undoubtedly enriches all countries but not all countries are enriched equally and not all countries are blessed with the same conditions for growth. In the past century, there have been winners and losers, and this inequality has created tensions, which need to be reconciled. Also, the industrialisation and the use of energy accompanying this unprecedented surge of growth in the past century have created environmental problems of unprecedented proportions.