This country could soon become the arbitration hub for the Caribbean.
This disclosure was made yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley after returning from a visit to the United Kingdom.
She said Barbados had just initialled a letter of intent with the London Court of International Arbitration, one of the oldest and most respected arbitral bodies in the world, to open up its first-ever regional branch office here, “where we can, from this location, service arbitrations for Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Minister Mottley revealed that the organisation intended to pursue this type of activity with others, but it was significant that Barbados had been the first with whom the Court “has entered this type of relationship”.
She explained that the development came in the wake of Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s announcement last year that “Barbados was going after the development of arbitration services as a niche component … that would benefit the international services sector as well as tourism and other business development services in law, accounting and business support services generally”.
A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed within the next few months with the London Court of International Arbitration.
The Deputy Prime Minister also disclosed that “aggressive promotion” would be undertaken by Invest Barbados and the Barbados Tourism Authority to “promote Barbados as a perfect domicile” for arbitral hearings.
“We feel that this will provide tremendous economic opportunities in the medium term. … So, we will be carrying to Parliament very shortly new arbitration legislation based on the UNCITRAL model that will govern domestic and international arbitration, ” she said.