Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“Jerusalem Arbitration Centre is a hope for a better future”

25.06.2015 / İstanbul

Speaking at the 3rd Global Arbitration Review, TOBB and Jerusalem Arbitration Centre (JAC) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the Jerusalem Arbitration Centre is an independent, non-political and professional bilateral dispute resolution forum.​

Stating that as a businessman, he believes in peace, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We all work to make more profit and bring more welfare to our people. For more welfare, we need more trade. And for more trade, we need peace. I believe economic integration and private sector solutions are very important for peace building. Think about the European Union project. It is one of the most successful peace projects in the world. Remember the relations between Germany and France, before the foundation of the EU. The relations between two countries were one the major reasons for the world war. And look at now! Germany and France are the engines of the European Economy. This has been achieved by economic integration and business initiatives.”

Stressing the need to learn from this integration model, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that dialogue, between business communities is central for stability, and peace in our region.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the initiative of JAC is a hope for a better future, with supporting commercial relations. It shows the commitment of businessmen in Palestine and Israel for the prosperity of their people.

- “Israel is Palestine’s main trading partner”

Reporting that business communities of Israel and Palestine have managed to generate a trade volume of 5 billion US dollars, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “For Palestine, Israel is still the main trading partner. For the Turkish exporters to Palestine, the export mostly is done via Israeli business. So, the disputes between both sides have an automatic impact on Turkish business, which is active in the region.It is clear that, everywhere in the world, when there are commercial transactions there are always potential for disputes.

This is the same and even worse for Israeli and Palestinian commercial relations. The Israeli courts used to be the only reference point for any commercial dispute. I am not going to talk about the difficulties of such a situation. Because the difficulties are crystal clear. However, there was no other dispute resolution mechanism other that the Israeli Courts. Imagine! You do business. You face dispute. But, you do not have the trust on the mechanism to bring the dispute. This is discouraging for business. On the other hand, the business has its own dynamics. Business finds its way. So, business leaders in Palestine and Israel realized that there is a need for a neutral mechanism to resolve commercial disputes. Because, both business communities see a common ground to work together.

In 2013, the initiative to set up such a dispute resolution mechanism became a reality with the establishment of the Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC). Both the Israeli and Palestinian business jointly invited me to be the international chairman of the Jerusalem Arbitration Center. I feel really honored by this invitation.

- “JAC will play an important role in bringing Palestinian and Israeli business communities closer”

Stating that the idea of an arbitration center for the region first came about 7 years ago and since then, Israeli and Palestinian business, ICC, other international organizations and internationally well-known people have worked hard to make this dream come true, culminating finally in the official establishment of the Jerusalem Arbitration Center in March, 2013, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Now, with the establishment of the Centre, we all have witnessed a historical moment.

JAC will provide arbitration services to disputes related to Israel, The West Bank and Gaza including East Jerusalem. It will also serve as an arbitration center to resolve commercial disputes between Palestinian-Palestinian and Israeli-Israeli businesses. Now, Palestinian and Israeli businesses have a mechanism, where they can refer their commercial disputes. They both have the assurance that, the disputes will be resolved through an impartial, reliable, speedy and cost‐efficient process. Let me state once again that, this is a business led initiative. However, we have the support of both Israeli and Palestinian governments. This support is also very valuable. I believe this Centre will play an important role in bringing Palestinian and Israeli business communities closer. And this will help us to build peace and prosperity in the Middle East. Establishing this Centre gives us hope for performing peaceful commercial relations and, of course, for a better future. Also, this initiative shows the commitment of the businessmen from both sides to enrich their nations.”

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