The Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (AFSA), of which Werksmans is a founding member, recently announced the establishment of the China Africa International Arbitration Centre (CAIAC), which will operate from South Africa and China. AFSA is a signatory to the Beijing Consensus which identified a pressing need to establish a China – Africa dispute resolution mechanism to advance trade between China and Africa. Other signatories to the Beijing Consensus include Africa ADR (AFSA’s international arm), other arbitral institutions and a number of Chinese trade commissions. AFSA played a significant role in the establishment of the CAIAC.
The CAIAC is the result of an agreement between AFSA, Africa ADR, the Association of Arbitrators and the Shanghai International Trade Arbitration Centre. The CAIAC is supported by the China Law Society and the Beijing Consensus signatories and will be the authorised China – Africa Arbitration and Mediation Institute.
Werksmans is pleased to announce that it will be a signatory to the Johannesburg Consensus, which will supplement the Beijing Consensus and which is scheduled to come into being on 17 August 2015. Werksmans will serve on the various committees to be set up in furtherance of the project and will shortly host an event to introduce clients to the CAIAC and Africa ADR.
The establishment of CAIAC and the introduction of the International Arbitration Act, expected in early 2016, constitute two major advances in the establishment of South Africa as a major African arbitral centre.