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IFC Promotes Mediation to Resolve Commercial Disputes, Improve Business Environment in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 8, 2018 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is promoting mediation to resolve business disputes and build investors’ trust in commercial litigations. The aim is to improve Vietnam’s investment climate, enabling businesses to grow and create jobs.
Globally, commercial mediation is a favorable popular alternative dispute resolution among business parties with the help of a neutral independent third person—a mediator. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties reach a mutually beneficial and lasting solution. This saves the parties lengthy and costly court proceedings. In Vietnam, the Decree on Commercial Mediation enacted in February 2017 encourages the business community to refer to commercial mediation as an alternative dispute resolution. Mediation results are recognized and enforced by law.
As part of its efforts to promote alternative dispute resolution, IFC — in cooperation with the Vietnam Business Lawyers Club (VBLC) and the Judicial Academy — today held a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City to provide participants with an overview of commercial mediation as an advanced alternative dispute resolution method in East Asia. It also elaborated on the role of counsels with regard to helping their clients to handle mediation processes.
Participants also got an opportunity to draw lessons on using mediation for resolving commercial disputes and the role of counsels in East Asia region including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea. International experts explained why businesses should ideally consider resolving commercial disputes through mediation. Currently, companies in Vietnam can use mediation services from the Vietnam Mediation Center (VMC) under the Vietnam International Arbitration Center (VIAC).  
“Mediation is still rather new for Vietnamese businesses. However, this should quickly become a popular dispute resolution mechanism for businesses here simply because it is cheap, fast and efficient,” said Dang Xuan Hop, VBLC Chairman. “A counsel can help develop this process effectively by recommending it to their clients and helping their clients through the mediation process in the fastest and most cost-effective way”.
In addition to workshops for raising awareness, IFC, in partnership with the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), has been supporting to build capacity for Vietnamese mediators. With IFC’s support, 16 mediators were accredited by the well-known London-based Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in January 2018. The center will be training additional 18 potential mediators in March to provide them with specific mediation skills and international best practices in mediation proceedings.
“Mediation is an effective way to resolve disputes because it saves time and money,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR. “As the Vietnamese economy continues to grow and generate more commercial transactions, a streamlined dispute resolution option will give the private sector more confidence to engage in business transactions.”
About IFC
IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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