NCAC Resolves 31 Disputes Worth $90m

NCAC has resolved 31 disputes in the banking and finance, real estate, construction, corporate and commercial sectors, amounting to about $90 million
Factory workers leave work on foot in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Factory workers leave work on foot in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The National Commercial Arbitration Centre (NCAC) has administered 31 cases, with a total amount in dispute of approximately $90 million as of January 2023, according to its president.

On January 19, during a business community forum on Commercial Arbitration in Cambodia, San Kiri, NCAC president, revealed that NCAC had managed 31 cases by January 2023.

Additionally, it has handled disputes involving banking and finance, real estate, construction, corporate and commercial, and international trade, he added.

Kiri said that the purpose of commercial arbitration is to resolve conflicts outside of the courts. Furthermore, there are other benefits to using commercial arbitration, such as the ability to choose an arbitrator rather than a court-appointed judge, increased flexibility, and the choice to use local languages.

He added that importantly, it is confidential and is provided to all parties involved in the case. Additionally, it is also possible to enforce the decision across borders through the New York Convention.

“For example, if you win a dispute with a supplier from Germany. They don’t have any assets in Cambodia, you can enforce the decision in over 160 countries,” he said. “This is a very important feature of arbitration.”

Currently, there are 70 arbitrators in NCAC’s panel, including 61 Cambodians and nine foreigners from America, France, Japan, Singapore, China, and Canada.

Sok Siphana, Board Member of EuroCham Cambodia and Founder of Sok Siphana and Associates, said that as ASEAN investors have made massive investments in Cambodia, the nation should be a good arbitration centre.

“If they [Thailand, Vietnamese] can come to our country, why can’t we offer them a service? So, I think we have to start thinking that we can do it. We have the possibility to have good standards, good rules, and independence,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about credibility. Are you able to provide facts and independent jurisdiction enough?”

NCAC was established under the 2006 Law on Commercial Arbitration. It formally began operations in 2013 to give businesses a commercial dispute resolution alternative to the conventional court system.

As Cambodia is a signatory to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Awards, an award issued by NCAC is enforceable in more than 160 countries in the same way as if it is an award issued by any international or regional center.