A historical perspective on the China-Sweden arbitration connection

How did Swedish arbitration and the SCC dispute resolution clauses first gain the status it now has with the Chinese government? And what could be said about the China-related cases at the SCC today? A recently published article by SCC Legal Counsel Anja Håvedal Ipp provides both a background and an update.

During the Cold War, a need for impartial venues in neutral jurisdictions for the resolution of commercial East-West disputes arose. Sweden had conducted a policy of non-alignment in foreign affairs, and had thus earned a reputation as a neutral, middle-road country. The contacts between the SCC and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) started in 1973, and relations strengthened during the following decade, eventually leading to the SCC Rules becoming the only accepted alternative – together with CIETAC arbitration – for Chinese parties to international transactions by the Chinese government.

While SCC today cannot claim the same exclusive status in China, however, around 5% of the new cases filed (10% excluding domestic cases) with the SCC in 2013-2014 involved a Chinese party. With cases involving many different industries and branches of contracts, and with disputed amounts spreading from €18,150 to more than €1 billion, the long-standing connection between the Chinese and Swedish arbitral communities remains strong.

This article was first shown in the September 2015 issue of China Business Law Journal, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the editors.

Read the article by Anja Håvedal Ipp here.