The expansion and globalisation of cross-border investment and trade has led to increased and ever more complex commercial relationships between businesses, investors and states. As, inevitably, some of those relationships break down, parties need to consider (preferably at the outset of the relationship) the best means of resolving any disputes which may arise.
Although there have been other arbitration centres in India, such as the Indian Council of Arbitration in Delhi, Indian Merchant Chamber in Mumbai and the Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Chennai, none of them have been approached for settling major international disputes.
Singapore, London and Hong Kong have been the preferred destinations for commercial arbitration for Indian parties. Apart from being neutral venues, these cities offer the best international practices in arbitration.
There is a perception in the mind of the international business and legal community that arbitrations in India are not always entirely fair for various reasons.
Thus the first International Arbitration Centre of India was inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra to provide an arbitration platform for Indian business houses to negotiate commercial disputes.
The centre, has been set up with the view of making India a hub of international commercial arbitration and helping ensure ease of doing business, is a joint venture between the Maharashtra government, industry members and the legal fraternity.
The MCIA will be an independent, not-for-profit organization (NGO) governed by a council comprising eminent national and international legal luminaries. It will provide world-class infrastructure for arbitration, 24×7 functionality and live transcription services recording during arbitration proceedings for transparency.
MCIA will provide an opportunity for Indian businesses to conduct arbitration in India as per global standards of administering arbitration as an option to foreign seats.