Seoul opens int'l dispute resolution center

SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul Metropolitan Government opened an international arbitration hearing center in an effort to help local companies settle business disputes expeditiously and to develop the city as a legal hub in East Asia, officials said Monday.

The Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center (IDRC), located in the Seoul Global Tower Building in central Seoul, is equipped with cutting-edge video conferencing and presentation systems to enable international arbitration agencies to hold hearings without a hitch, according to the city officials.

The center will also house offices of major international arbitration entities, including the International Chamber of Commerce Hearing Center, the London Court of International Arbitration and Singapore International Arbitration Center, they added.

The city government has been in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board and Korean Bar Association to set up a new international arbitration hearing facility in Seoul since last year.

"Seoul has the third highest number of international arbitrations in Asia following Singapore and Hong Kong. In this regard, the Seoul IDRC will save a significant amount of time and costs for local firms and those from neighborhood countries and develop Seoul into the main hub of the Northeast Asian legal market," IDRC chairman Shin Young-moo said.

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