Egypt hosts first international arbitration conference in settling commercial and maritime disputes GAFTA – FOSFA

Daily News Egypt
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Olga Newman - Senior Associate (L); Mohamed Badr - Founder & Executive Partner (A&B Consultants) (M); Jeff Isaacs - Partner (Head of Commodities (R)

 In a move to solidify its position as a key maritime trade hub, Egypt is hosting its first-ever international conference on settling commercial and maritime disputes through arbitration. The event, scheduled for February 26th, brings together prestigious arbitration firms, major shipping companies like Maersk, and representatives from international organizations.

“The main goal is to showcase the importance of maritime arbitration in resolving disputes,” explained Mohamed Badr, founder and executive partner of B&A Consulting, the conference organizer. He emphasized Egypt’s strategic location on the Red and Mediterranean Seas, further bolstered by the Suez Canal, a vital artery carrying 40% of global trade volume. “With the booming international maritime trade, arbitration centres are increasingly sought after,” he added, highlighting the potential for Egypt to establish itself as a credible and capable player in resolving international trade disputes.

The conference will delve into crucial topics like drafting contracts under English law, arbitration under the Greater Arab Free Trade Area and GAFTA-FOSFA rules, and enforcing arbitration awards. A key participant is Hill Dickinson, a renowned British firm specializing in maritime commercial disputes with a global presence dating back to 1810. Badr pointed out the lack of such specialized centres in the Arab world and Middle East, prompting investors and businesses to settle disputes abroad.

    He said that there is a real lack of in the Arab world and the Middle East of such centres, to the point that both investors and money owners prefer to resort to settling their maritime disputes abroad. This is due to the availability of high experience in this field and familiarity with maritime customs.

   Badr added that maritime issues, in particular, have a special and different nature from other issues, because this maritime entity has many and different activities. Thus, the role of maritime arbitration and the importance of its speed and flexibility in settling such international disputes is evident, through specialized arbitration offices that apply all expertise and tools in settling maritime disputes, provided that it is accredited by the International Maritime Organization, which is certainly considered a safety factor for the parties to the dispute. Badr also sheds light on the impact of this on attracting international investments from all over the world and encouraging and motivating business owners and capital to invest and operate projects, which contributes to activating economic development.

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