THE ADVOCATE 561
VOL. 77 PART 4 JULY 2019
It takes presence. Centre personnel attend conferences and meetings
and deliver our message. Vancouver arbitrators take leadership positions on
regional, national and international bodies, boosting B.C.’s reputation by
doing so. All of these things add to Vancouver’s credibility as a centre.
Centre panelist Gerry Ghikas, Q.C., for example, delivered a paper to the
California International Arbitration Conference in 2007 advertising both
the legal and practical reasons for coming to Vancouver for international
arbitrations: a neutral seat, respect from the court system, logistics and a
great destination—all attributes of Vancouver, all still valid today.
Consistency of message is important, along with high-quality materials
promoting this jurisdiction. The Centre has recently created a new
brochure for trade missions and will be testing it at upcoming events.
Repeating the Vancouver message until it is heard multiple times and then
acted upon: that is what will move the dial.
The leadership of the Ministry of the Attorney General has been
extremely helpful. As Attorney General, I formed a team of top arbitrators
and other interested parties in Vancouver to look at what we could do to elevate
Vancouver’s place in the international arbitration world.
The arbitrations advisory group has been continued by the current Attorney
General, the Honourable David Eby, Q.C. It advised on the recent
amendments to the International Commercial Arbitration Act passed in 2018
and is now considering amendments to B.C.’s domestic arbitration legislation.
In its role as a promoter of the advantages of Vancouver and B.C., the
Centre is active. Eighteen months ago, we retained former Attorney
General Barry Penner, Q.C., as managing director, responsible for marketing.
We have used videos and refreshed our promotional materials. We have
a roster of top arbitrators and a reputation as a neutral and effective manager
of arbitrations. And as mentioned above, we are actively pursuing new
international opportunities such as through ICANN.
By promoting the Centre and Vancouver as a preferred hub for international
commercial arbitration, our goal is to increase visibility and credibility
internationally and to pave the way for improved trade and investment
ties with foreign countries. Our goal is to significantly enhance B.C.’s presence
as a major Pacific Rim arbitration centre and bring global recognition
to Vancouver as an excellent place to invest and do business.
The future is promising, and the Centre intends to work hard to make
international commercial arbitration a distinguishing hallmark of our
province and an economic feather in our collective caps.