On Thursday, Zhuhai’s Hengqin hosted the GBA Financial Dispute Mediation Cooperation Forum. In attendance were representatives from regulatory authorities and financial dispute mediation centers from Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong. The parties have also signed a cooperation framework on cross-border financial dispute mediation.
Is this the beginning of long-awaited “integration” across the GBA’s three jurisdictions in the area of law enforcement? It might be a long way off, but this does appear to be some kind of tentative start.
Earlier this month, Guangdong released a directive in which it highlighted the importance to push forward financial interconnectivity among the three regions in order to “build an international financial hub”.
“Because the Greater Bay Area is built on one country, two systems and three jurisdictions, it has great differences in legal framework and economic systems,” said Bai Hexiang, president of the People’s Bank of China, Guangzhou Branch. “To solve financial disputes in the three regions through traditional litigation will face the challenges of judicial differences, which will become a time-consuming and costly process.”
It is of “great significance” to establish a financial dispute mediation cooperation mechanism between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, Bai said. He suggested to learn from the more mature financial dispute resolution system that Hong Kong, Macau and other developed economies have adopted and to establish a jointly recognized cooperation mechanism among the regions to protect the rights and interests of the consumers and enhance the quality of financial services in the Greater Bay Area.
The World Trade Center Macau Arbitration Center, the Guangzhou Financial Consumption Dispute Resolution Center, The Shenzhen Consumer Rights Protection and representatives from the financial dispute centers in Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing signed the framework agreement. The cooperation will involve the establishment of a liaison mechanism, a financial dispute mediation cooperation mechanism and a joint research mechanism.