Seminar One Step Closer: Promoting ASEAN integration through the Harmonization of Commercial Laws

25/09/2017 14:45

On 14th and 15th September 2017, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL RCAP), ASEAN Law Association, the International Institute for Trade and Development are co-hosting a two-days seminar entitled “One Step Closer : Promoting ASEAN integration through the Harmonization of Commercial Laws”.

With the aims of raising awareness on the need for harmonization of commercial laws in ASEAN and provides a platform for fostering dialogue between public and private entities involved in cross-border trade. The seminar created an open dynamic discussion forum with the participation of many experts, lawyers, representatives of international arbitration organizations from ASEAN countries.

Attending the seminar, representatives from the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) were Mr. Phan Trong Dat (Deputy Secretary General of VIAC) and Dr. Le Net (Partner of LNT and Partners, VIAC arbitrator) had presentations in on two main contents: (i) The harmonization between CISG and Vietnamese Law and Arbitration under UNCITRAL Rules in Vietnam and (ii) The importance of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in promoting harmonization of regional trade.

Mr. Phan Trong Dat – Deputy Secretary General of VIAC

Mr. Phan Trong Dat emphasized that the harmonization of ASEAN's commercial laws is one of the key issues to promote the extensive integration of the regional economy. Hence, member states are as close as possible to find a common ground in order to minimize legal conflicts in the civil, commercial, economics, etc. as well as other foreign-element factors.

The legal harmonization provides the basis of creating standards framework and institutional linkages in which there are many diverse and distinct legal and judicial systems from member states.  To accelerate this process, sharing experiences, exchanging information and acquiring new legal trends have gradually taken shape in the ASEAN community as a positive sign.

As a different perspective, when undesirable international trade disputes occurred, Mr. Dat said that the reference and usage of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods are gaining in popularity. In addition to traditional dispute resolution, ADR promotes strong advantages and indispensable trends which has been recognized and applied in many countries around the world. This is also an important part to move towards harmonization of commercial law in the region.

Dr. Le Net – Partner of LNT and Partners, VIAC arbitrator

Dr. Net shared that harmonization of commercial law is essential for the sustainable development of each nation and the whole region. In recent years, in Vietnam, the Government has paid much attention and taken concrete actions in setting the national standards framework, created the platform for regional and international integration. From an international perspective, the Government also had better positioning strategies in the region and in the world.

Typically, by the end of 2015, H.E Mr. President of Vietnam has promulgated the Decision on our admission of United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods – CISG (Vienna, 1980) to become the 84th member of the Convention. Accession to the CISG marked a new milestone in the process of participating in international multilateral trade treaties, enhancing the level of integration of Vietnam, contributing to the finalization of the Vietnamese legal system on commercial International commodities and providing Vietnamese businesses with a modern, fair and secure legal framework for the implementation of contracts for international sale of goods.


In 2016, “VIAC has successfully operated the hybrid arbitration agreement for the first time, which in part demonstrates that the arbitration law and the arbitration practice of Vietnam have been integrated extensively into the international law and practice. The dispute resolution dispute by adhoc arbitration in the Arbitration Center in general and in VIAC in particular has created a new option to provide further guidance for Vietnamese parties "- Dr. Net shared at the seminar.

"A team can not have only one player", so the harmonization of ASEAN commercial law is one of the key issues to promote the extensive integration of the regional economy. With the efforts and actions of Vietnam as well as other countries in the region, ASEAN can expect a future of strong integration and development in the near future.


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