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During the annual meetings of the Guangzhou Chinese People’s Consultative Commission (“Guangzhou CPPCC”) (中国人民政治协商会议广州市委员会) held in February 2015, Franki Cheung of the Corporate Commercial Practice, as a member of the Guangzhou CPPCC, submitted a proposal (” 提案”) to establish a new arbitration division specialising in the maritime logistics business in Nansha, Guangzhou. The proposal was accepted upon preliminary review and passed on to the Guangzhou Municipal Government for consideration. The proposal was prepared with the assistance of Minning Wei of the Guangzhou office and Chan Yuet Wa, both of the Corporate Commercial Group.
After having considered the relevant policies and spirits of the meetings of the Guangzhou Municipal Government, the needs for the construction and development of Nansha, Guangzhou and Franki’s proposal, the Guangzhou Municipal Government has decided to set up a Guangzhou Court of International Shipping Arbitration (广州国际航运仲裁院) in the Nansha New District (南沙新区), one of the three districts of the newly established China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (“Project GZCISA”). Project GZCISA is an important part of the development of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone and is listed as one of the ten key platform projects (重点平台项目). Project GZCISA will be jointly implemented by the Guangzhou Arbitration Commission, the Management Committee of the Nansha Development Zone, the Guangzhou Port Authority and the arbitration institutions in Hong Kong and Macau. A group of experts from various divisions in the industry were invited to discuss Project GZCISA on 27 April, 2015.
Franki is a member of the panel of arbitrators of the Guangzhou Arbitration Commission. He has recently become a member of the Law Society of Hong Kong’s 6-member working group on China’s Free Trade Zones. This working group is led by Mr. Ambrose Lam, former President of the Law Society. The Law Society has informed the Liaision Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong of the formation of the working group.
On 28 April 2015, the Guangzhou Arbitration Commission, as the leading party of Project GZCISA, sent a formal reply to Franki in response to the various suggestions under his proposal and to set forth the next major steps. It is expected that Project GZCISA will be carried out over the next couple of years and be instrumental in the development of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the entire shipping and logistics industry in South China.
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