Joint Declaration on the Construction of the Global Central Legal Services Districts
1. On November 7, 2021, a forum on Global Central Legal Services District Construction and Doing Business Environment Optimization, sponsored by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and International Commercial Dispute Prevention and Settlement Organization, was held in Hongqiao District, Shanghai, with a preparatory meeting convened on the afternoon of the day before (November 6). With a focus on the construction of global central legal services districts, representatives from central legal services districts in some countries and regions, such as Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, Malaysia, South Africa and Hong Kong SAR, those from domestic central legal services districts, such as Tianfu Central Legal Services District of Sichuan Province and Maritime Silk Road Central Legal Services District of Fujian Province, as well as experts, scholars and representatives from all walks of life, made extensive and in-depth exchanges on the current situation and development trend of central legal services districts in the world, and made suggestions for business environment optimizing. The forum participants reached broad consensus and achieved the expected results.
2. We have found that the world is undergoing major development, transformation, and adjustment. With COVID-19 coming suddenly and evolving rapidly, the international situation is becoming ever more complex with mounting instability and uncertainty, the world economy has been greatly affected with its recovery process still unclear yet, and the demand for legal services increasing. For that reason, we call on everyone to meet the current challenges jointly through improving global legal governance and vigorously promoting the construction of global central legal services districts on the principles of legalization and facilitation, in order to provide fair, efficient and convenient international commercial legal services to the business community. We should strengthen international dialogue and communication, continuously advance the market-oriented and law-based business environment, and guarantee the high-quality development of global economy.
3. We have been aware that the development of central legal services districts is still in the exploratory stage around the world. We should stick to the ideas of connectivity, joint development and sharing, and firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. With respect for the rule of law and defer to market value, we should build a communication and dialogue platform through exchanges, discussions, and mutual learning, achieve concerted progress of all parties through intensive work and win-win cooperation, and realize joint development between home and abroad through advantage complementation and resource sharing, in order to promote the coordinated development of global central legal services districts through our specialized and internationalized legal cooperation platform.
4. We have noticed that some countries and regions, such as Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, Malaysia, South Africa and Hong Kong SAR, have accumulated certain experience in the development of legal services districts, and Tianfu Central Legal Services District of Sichuan Province and Maritime Silk Road Central Legal Services District of Fujian Province have also been developing fast. It seems to us that the formation of a central legal services district requires not only governmental support, but also the joint participation of various legal service agencies, universities, think tanks, and industrial and commercial circles to pool their efforts and seek common development. We should focus on the needs of market subjects and provide high-quality and efficient legal services for building a unified, open, orderly, and competitive modern market system.
5. We unanimously agree that, by focusing on the construction of central legal services districts for the first time in the world, this Forum provides a favorable platform for mutual integration and progress. Therefore, we agree to build the Forum into a permanent one, which will be held alternately at home and abroad according to global COVID-19 prevention and control situation. International Commercial Dispute Prevention and Settlement Organization and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade shall persistently provide services to this permanent Forum.
6. We believe that, with all parties put minds together and pool strengths with a unity of purpose, follow the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, the construction of global central legal services districts would keep deepening and substantiating, and gradually form a high-level legal services ecosystem, contributing to building a fair, transparent, efficient, and law-based business environment, and promoting the development of global legal governance system and a better world.