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National Assembly passes bill to ease foreign investor disputes

Government hopes the new law will strengthen the country's trade and investment position.

The Parliament of South Africa. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly has unanimously passed the International Arbitration Bill aimed at making it easier for foreign investors to resolve their disputes.

The bill aligns national law with international arbitration procedures.

Government hopes the new law will strengthen the country's trade and investment position.

Disputes covered by the new bill will be eligible for arbitration and conciliation under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Businesses will be able to obtain arbitral awards that are legally enforceable.

Chairperson of Parliament's Justice Committee Mathole Motshekga says the new law will promote South Africa as an attractive destination for cross-border disputes.

Supporting the bill, the Democratic Alliance's Glynnis Breytenbach said the South African legal system has all the right ingredients to house an arbitration centre.

“The bill will hopefully contribute to increased economic growth and investment and ensure that South Africa is an attractive venue for parties around the world to resolve their commercial disputes.”

The bill will now be referred to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

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