Experts from Nepal and Bangladesh in a webinar emphasise significance of mediation as a tool for commercial dispute resolution

Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC), the first and only registered Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) institution of the country, dedicated to facilitate institutional ADR organised its 17th webinar from a virtual platform on 4 December 2021 on ‘’Commercial Dispute Resolution through Mediation’’, jointly with the Nepal International ADR Center (NIAC), an institution committed for accessible and credible dispute resolution service through Arbitration and Mediation based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Participating in the webinar experts stressed on the advantages and significance of mediation over judicial proceedings as a dispute resolution method, especially in the wake of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, which has created an unprecedented challenge in our economic life. The webinar focussed on how mediation can help resolve commercial disputes effectively.
In his Welcome Address Chief Executive Officer of BIAC Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali welcomed the recent UN General Assembly decision for graduating Nepal and Bangladesh to Developing Countries. He said that both Nepal and Bangladesh have robust growth rate and with the increasing volume of trade in both the countries commercial disputes are likely to increase. Therefore, Ali favoured institutional framework, laws and guidelines to enhance scope of resolving commercial disputes. He said that BIAC is working for dispute resolution service, academic and collaborative works with different institutions across the world. NIAC will help BIAC towards achieving its objective of providing best dispute resolution tools to adversaries, Ali hoped.
Chairperson of Nepal International ADR Center (NIAC) Dr. Mukti Rijal in his Closing Remarks said that Bangladesh and Nepal have many similarities including several aspects of our legal system and practices in ADR. He hoped that the collaboration between NIAC and BIAC will foster bilateral relations including sharing experience in dispute resolution.

At the end of the session Chairman of the BIAC Board Mahbubur Rahman thanked all the Panellists from Nepal and Bangladesh for this joint session by BIAC and NIAC. Rahman hoped that the friendly relationship between Nepal and Bangladesh over the decades will strengthen further in the days ahead particularly in the field of trade and commerce which will eventually help boost our economies.

Taking part in the discussion Panellist Justice Shreekanta Paudel, Hon’ble Judge of the High Court of Nepal said that commercial mediation has been inserted in various legislation of Nepal. There are many challenges in banking and commercial disputes, which stakeholders have to join hands for overcoming such issues, he opined.

Barrister Farzana Ahmed, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Senior Vice President & Head of Legal Affairs Division, Dhaka Bank Ltd. viewed the issue from a banker’s perspective and maintained that mediation at this difficult time can help resolve commercial disputes in the most pragmatic, expeditious and cost effective manner and so it should be preferred as a dispute resolution tool before resorting to a lengthy judicial process.
Dr. Kumar Sharma Acharya, Senior Advocate and Mediation Expert, Nepal in his deliberations said that emerging economies like Nepal have to embrace the growing global business sentiment which prefers amicable and convenient mediation method and is made binding through the ratification of the Singapore Convention on Mediation.

Barrister Khandoker MS Kawsar, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Regional Representative of South Asian Chapter, ICC Young Arbitrators Forum took part in the discussion and explained the ambit of commercial disputes, strengths and weaknesses in Bangladeshi legal and regulatory principles to resolve these disputes. He also highlighted the scope of mediation in resolving them.

Panellist Prakritee Yonzon, Lawyer and ADR Practitioner, Nepal said that in order to attract, retain and multiply investments, it is imperative that Nepal has a well-functioning, effective and speedy mechanism of mediation for resolving commercial disputes.

Shahariar Sadat, Director, Academic & Legal Empowerment, Centre for Peace & Justice, BRAC University, Dhaka, taking part in the discussion, categorised that mediation had always been a part of Bangladesh society, the difference now is, it is getting a more formal and institutional shape. Mediation is important for the promotion of business competitiveness, Sadat said.

Matrika Prasad Niraula, Managing Director of Nepal International ADR Center (NIAC) moderated the webinar. In course of discussion he said that the webinar has facilitated to identify issues and means of their solution in resolving commercial disputes. Albeit, mediation is the best tool to mitigate such disputes, Niraula maintained.
M A Akmall Hossain Azad, Director of BIAC also took part in the webinar. The programme was streamed live on FACEBOOK page and LinkedIn profile of BIAC. The daily Bonik Barta was the media partner of the event.