The EU-Central Asia Rule of Law Platform and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan organised a Regional Seminar on International Arbitration  in Dushanbe on 6-7 October 2016. The seminar was hosted by Tajikistan and chaired by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan. The seminar was opened by the Ambassadors of the European Union, France and Germany. It aimed at deepening the dialogue and exchanges of experience on economic governance, which begun with the Fourth Ministerial Conference on rule of law. More specifically, the objective of the seminar was to launch a dialogue among a group of over 90 Central Asian delegates, to facilitate the resolution of economic disputes arising out of cross-border investment, thereby ensuring legal security for investors, improving the business climate and enabling sustainable economic development in the five Central Asian States.

The modern legal framework for domestic and international arbitration was first introduced, followed by a presentation of models and process of arbitration, of the importance and varieties of bilateral investment treaties between some EU Member States and the Central Asian States, the arbitration clause and important issues concerning arbitrators. Presentations by prominent experts from Central Asia, France, Germany and Greece alternated with panel discussions involving the audience, and sharing of best practices and regulations governing the economic environment, based on the European model, as a key to fostering foreign investment and the improvement of the business climate.

Delegations from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan joined the large public of specialists from Tajikistan and represented ministries of Justice, Finance, Economy and Tax, legal specialists of other ministries, state agencies, Supreme Economic Courts, Presidential Offices, Prosecutor’s Offices, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, lawyers, judges, academics and arbitrators, including leading specialists from the International Commercial Arbitration Court of the Eurasian Mediation Center, the International commercial arbitration, “Jus Gentium” (Astana and Almaty), and the International Commercial Arbitrage Section of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The participants agreed on the fact that International Investment Agreements should promote the rule of law and respect the right to regulate, and that a balance between state sovereignty and investment protection should be taken into consideration when drafting investment contracts.

At the end of the two-day seminar, the participants agreed on a communiqué. A press release and a press report were prepared.