‘International arbitration structure skewed in favour of developed nations’

New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Developing countries, including India, should build capacity instead of playing the victim as the structure of international arbitration was heavily biased towards the developed countries, a top Finance Ministry official said on Saturday.

“International arbitration structural bias is in favour of developed nations. It must end. Developing nations should build capacity instead of playing victim,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said at a conference on International Arbitration in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

“The key is to develop local capabilities in the BRICS countries, so we can deal with these issues,” he said.

Das elaborated on the importance of arbitration at a time of global economic slowdown, which has increased protectionist tendencies among developed countries, who also have the tendency in cases of disputes in taxation or investment to bypass the local framework and go for arbitration or “forum shopping”.

“Forum shopping should end. India is already moving towards ending treaty shopping in investment,” he said.

“Pursuit of global business order should be balanced with public policy for overwhelming public good,” he added.

The conference was organised as a lead-up to the leaders summit to be held in Goa in October, India being the chair of the grouping this year.

–IANS

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