On 3 June 2016, SIAC announced that it entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA“) with the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited (“GIFTCL“) and GIFT SEZ Limited (“GIFT SEZ“).

Under the MOA, SIAC will establish a representative office in the IFSC-GIFT, and SIAC, GIFTCL and GIFT SEZ will promote the use of arbitration, mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve international commercial disputes in India’s International Financial Services Centre in Gujarat international Finance Tec-City (IFSC-GIFT).

The Indian economy has seen an increasing number of commercial disputes in recent times, and parties are increasingly turning to arbitration over traditional court litigation for resolution of domestic and cross-border disputes. Indian parties have consistently ranked amongst the top five foreign users of SIAC in the last five years, and were the top foreign user of SIAC in 2013 and 2015.

Ms Lim Seok Hui, CEO of SIAC, commented that “India has always been an important market for SIAC and this MOA reflects our continuous commitment to maintain and strengthen our relationship with Indian users… By establishing our representative office in the IFSC, we aim to contribute to GIFT City’s economic development.”

Over the last few years, India has been advancing progressively in the field of arbitration. In October 2015, India’s arbitration law underwent some major changes with the enactment of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015, and SIAC’s latest announcement will further help the country on its path to becoming a preferred arbitration destination.