Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

18th ICC Türkiye Arbitration Day Conference in İstanbul

16.02.2024 / İstanbul

The 18th ICC Türkiye Arbitration Day Conference was held in İstanbul in cooperation with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Türkiye National Committee and the ICC International Court of Arbitration.​

Speaking at the opening of the conference, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the ICC is the largest business organization working to increase trade and investments in the world and said, “It was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with the slogan “merchants of peace” in order to eliminate the damage caused by the First World War to international trade. For 105 years, it has been at the forefront of promoting peace and prosperity around the world. It has come to represent more than 45 million companies and more than 1 billion employees in more than 170 countries.”

Explaining that since its establishment, the ICC has signed many different formations for the development of global trade, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “It has pioneered international commercial arbitration and has become a reference institution for the reduction of customs barriers and the removal of barriers to trade.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu reminded that the Turkish National Committee of the ICC was established in 1934 and operates under TOBB’s umbrella, and said that the Turkish National Committee, as a strong and well-established National Committee, has been offering ICC activities to the Turkish Business World for many years.

Noting that the ICC also plays an important role in supporting global trade and investment through dispute resolution, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The ICC International Court of Arbitration is one of the world's leading centers for the resolution of international commercial disputes. Consisting of members from more than 90 countries on every continent, the Court is the most widely represented arbitration organization. It is particularly important that every region of the world is represented on the Court and in its Secretariat. The flexibility of ICC arbitration, the availability of translations of its rules in many languages, its constant self-renewal and adaptation to contemporary developments are other important factors underlying the Court's success.”

Stating that ICC Arbitration is recognized as an effective tool for the fair, impartial and rapid resolution of disputes arising between international businesses, the TOBB President said, “Both in the world and in our country, the interest and demand of business people for arbitration increases day by day. This is because we want to be secure while establishing our domestic and inter-country business connections. One of the most important elements of the investment environment is the guarantee of contractual obligations. Especially for international investors, the existence of an effective arbitration institution is a must.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that before Türkiye integrated into the arbitration system, global direct investment inflows did not exceed 1 billion dollars a year, and with the effect of the acceptance of arbitration, this figure has increased to over 10 billion dollars a year, and Türkiye has become more attractive and preferable in terms of attracting investments at the point of becoming a global investment and production base.

For this reason, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that as the business world, they see arbitration as a very valuable infrastructure and trust mechanism for investment and trade: “The ICC's International Arbitration System is an important guarantee in this respect. In addition, by taking into account the needs and priorities of the business world, it produces mechanisms that work faster and can be used to resolve smaller commercial disputes. The ICC Expedited Procedure Provisions (EPP) is designed to serve this purpose. As a faster and more economical solution, it has been a suitable mechanism for SMEs and start-ups. Since its inception, more than 28,000 cases have been heard in ICC arbitration. In 2023, 890 new cases were registered. In addition, our country has been designated as a seat of arbitration 10 times. On the occasion of this Arbitration Conference, I would like to share an expectation from the ICC. As a good client of ICC arbitration, we expect and want the ICC to give more space to the jurists of our country in the appointment of arbitrators. As TOBB and ICC Türkiye, we will continue to work to make arbitration known and widespread.”

- “Türkiye has an important role in attracting international companies”

Claudia Salomon, President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, stated that the world continues to evolve.

Stating that many arbitration members were from Europe when the ICC was first established, Salomon said, “The disputes also reflected the characteristics of that period. The main commodities were actually arbitration members were not lawyers, they were business people. Business people did not want lawyers. They thought that we cannot resolve disputes in this way.”

Now the ICC is global and in every respect really reflects the needs of the business and the company globally, Salomon said, explaining that Türkiye has an important role in the global economy in attracting international companies to Türkiye.

Salomon noted the following: “We clearly see that Türkiye's business world interacts with the global business world. Türkiye is well represented at the International Court of Arbitration. Türkiye's companies trust the ICC for dispute resolution. Because ICC is really the only international arbitration institution. The ICC is impartial, independent and its service quality is very good. Agreements also lead to disputes. Businesses should be prepared. Risk management strategies should take into account any disputes that may arise. Companies understand this. If companies are proactive and think about disputes from the onset, then they position themselves in the best possible way.”

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