ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman on Tuesday said foreign direct investment (FDI) is a powerful tool for economic growth, especially for a developing country like Bangladesh.
"Bangladesh is currently the second-largest economy in the region going to be graduated as a developing country in 2026 as per the recommendation made by the UN Economic and Social Council," he said.
Mahbubur said these while addressing the webinar on "Into the Centenary Year: ICC Court visits ICC Bangladesh," read a press release.
He said the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court of Arbitration with its headquarters in Paris is having its centenary celebration.
The ICC Court was established 100 years ago on January 19, 1923, under the leadership of founding ICC Chairman and French Minister of Commerce Etienne Clementel and ICC founders known as the "Merchants of Peace."
The ICC Bangladesh president said the ease of enforcing foreign arbitral awards has a direct effect on both foreign and local investments.
"The existing legal framework in Bangladesh for enforcement of arbitral awards, be it foreign or local, and arbitrations in general has significant room for improvement," he added.
ICC Court Secretary General Alexander Fessas was the keynote speaker at the webinar.
ICC Court President Claudia Salomon said ICC has played a seminal role in making arbitration the preferred method for resolving disputes between parties from different countries. Indeed, ICC played a pioneering role in the adoption of the 1958 York Convention.
Claudia mentioned that through the scrutiny process, this is a unique feature of ICC arbitration, ensuring that ICC awards are the highest possible standard. "We are the only arbitral institution that is truly international - not linked to any geography or subject to political winds."
ICCB Executive Board member Mir Nasir Hossain in his address said the limited availability of specialised judges and lawyers with expertise in international arbitration is a challenge for Bangladesh.
"This has led to a shortage of competent professionals who can handle the complexities of enforcing foreign arbitral awards in Bangladesh," he said putting emphasis on training and upscaling them.
ICCB Executive Board member Kutubuddin Ahmed in his speech said for Bangladesh, the primary challenge for enforcing foreign arbitral awards is the lack of a comprehensive legal framework.
"The existing laws on arbitration are outdated and do not provide adequate guidance on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. The Act came into force over 21 years back in 2001," he added.
Other panellists of the webinar were Md Sameer Sattar, president, DCCI; Margub Kabir, an advocate of Supreme Court of Bangladesh; ABM Sertajur Rahman, additional project director (superintending engineer), SASEC Dhaka Sylhet Corridor Road Investment Project and PPP Cell, Roads and Highways Department; and Forrukh Rahman, an advocate of Supreme Court of Bangladesh. ICC Bangladesh Secretary General Ataur Rahman also spoke at the webinar.
ICC Bangladesh Commission on Arbitration and ADR Chair Nihad Kabir moderated the webinar. She said they are working with the law ministry for necessary amendments in the arbitration act for the Enforcement of Foreign and Local Arbitral Award.
Over a hundred participants from home and abroad joined the webinar.