SAARCO striving to resolve economic matters through arbitration

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 17 (APP): Director General SAARC Arbitration Council Thusantha Wijemanna Tuesday said SARCO is working effectively since its inception in 2004 to resolve business community problems relating to trade, commerce and investment in the region.
Talking to PTV World, he said before SAARCO ‘s establishment, there was a major drawback in the South Asian countries that they instead of resolving the dispute themselves referred it to the court for a period of 5 years. He said it was rejected by the business community as they wanted to resolve their problems more quickly through some other
mechanism.
“It was under this understanding that the SAARC ministers
and the council of ministers decided in 2004 to establish SAARCO
to resolve the problems quickly specially with regard the trade,
investment, commerce etc etc,” he said.
He said the arbitration for any problem is not limited to
SAARCO only but it is available in the rest of the countries and
what is distinguished of the arbitration council is that this is
a regional forum which is not owned by any of the country and
is considered as an independent body, free of any bias.
Replying to a question, he said a person from government
institution, private body or company can become its part and
added that any private individual who is residing in the SAARC
countries and wants to resolve their matters through arbitration
council, can also contact it.
About cost of resolving any problem in SAARCO, he said “we
are providing the services at a very reasonable prices.”
Replying to another question, he said officially the first
director general of SAARCO was appointed in 2010 and he joined it
last year as its 2nd DG.
“Pakistan was its first head office for three years and we
have made its proper infrastructure, laws and in the initial years
we have held its first workshop in Lahore.”
He said SAARCO have signed different arbitration agreements
with SAARC countries and its members have given the undertaking
that they will abide by these agreements.
He said there is a SAARCO arbitral award also and “we are
trying to harmonize laws for the implementation of the award which
is very tough job and in the last meeting of our governing body in
lahore we have decided to receieve approval in our next meeting
in New York.”