In cooperation with CRCICA, GAFI organizes a Symposium on enhancing the Role of Mediation in settling Investor Disputes
The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in cooperation with Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), organized a symposium on enhancing the role of mediation and amicable settlement of investor-related disputes. The symposium was organized in the belief that mediation plays a positive role in attracting investment and improving business environment.
Mr. Hossam Heiba, GAFI CEO, and a number of officials as well as specialists in the fields of dispute settlement, mediation, and arbitration participated in the symposium. Among the attendance are Dr. Mohamed Farid, Chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA); Counselor Ahmed Khairy, Assistant Minister of Justice for Ad-hoc Courts; Dr. Iman Mansour, Director of GAFI Investors Disputes Settlement Center (IDSC); and Dr. Hani Sarie-Eldin, Member of the Senate and Former Chairman of the Egyptian Capital Market Authority (CMA).
GAFI CEO Mr. Hossam Heiba said that the mediation process in investors dispute settlement is a fundamental pillar for improving the business environment and the investment ambiance; strengthening and highlighting the role of mediation in disputes settlement in the current period aims to attract more investments. He indicated that the goal of the symposium is to come up with implementable recommendations that contribute to turning mediation into elite services, thus contributing to facilitating the procedures for the investors and solving any problems that may hinder the continuity of their projects.
Mr. Heiba stressed the need to unite all parties and centers that play the mediation role in disputes settlement to facilitate the procedures for the investors, so that there would be only one party that the investors deal with in order to avoid wasting more time and effort.
In a related context, Dr. Iman Mansour, IDSC Director and an accredited mediator, said that the IDSC was established according to the Minister of Investment Decree in 2009 and specializes in resolving problems between investors, shareholders in companies, or disputes between two or more companies. She noted the center includes a list of the most important accredited and trained experts in the field of mediation in Egypt, and has succeeded in conducting settlement procedures for 543 companies of the disputes presented.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Farid, FRA Chairman, stressed the importance of the role of mediation in settling disputes between investors, pointing out that one of the most important factors for the success of economic activities, whether in specialized economic zones or financial centers, is the availability of effective mechanisms for mediation and arbitration in particular as conflicts are normal situation that should be addressed to ensure the continuity of economic activity.
Dr. Hani Sari-El-Din said that mediation mechanisms are very important, and that more efforts need to be exerted to develop them. Moreover, he stresses that such mechanisms must be expanded to include not only investor vs. investor disputes; shareholders vs. company disputes, and company vs. company disputes, but also to include disputes between investors and different State entities in order to make it easier for investors to find solutions to their problems.
In the same context, Counselor Ahmed Khairy, Assistant Minister of Justice for Specialized Courts Affairs, said that mediation plays an important role in resolving disputes between investors. He added that now there is an optional mediation in economic courts that investors can resort to, referring to the availability of a group of judges in the preparation panel of economic courts, who are highly trained as mediators to resolve disputes between investors.