CPR's Emerging Markets Mediation Growth Initiative
While certain markets are well-developed and have reliable institutions and processes in place, many emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, Latin America and the Middle East do not have consistent and trustworthy mechanisms in place.  Numerous studies have demonstrated the link between economic development and reliable alternatives for fair and efficient dispute resolution.  Moreover, the increasing globalization of our member base requires efforts by CPR to ensure that commercially reasonable and efficient processes are in place to resolve the inevitable disputes, and to offer alternatives to the heavily administered systems of many existing institutions.

The CPR Emerging Markets Mediation Growth Initiative will enable CPR's members to obtain a more precise picture of the challenges and opportunities that face them with respect to ADR in the developing world, and enable them to devise and effectuate commercially reasonable dispute management practices. 

Need for the Initiative:

Research has demonstrated that economic development and opportunities for cross-border commerce are hampered in certain markets by commercial uncertainty regarding the reliability and impartiality of regional court systems, and a lack of reliable alternatives for fair and efficient dispute resolution. 

Arbitration is not a complete solution, since it relies upon courts for enforcement of awards and since arbitrators themselves may not be immune from systemic corruption or perceptions of partiality.    These concerns are particularly acute in many emerging markets, where increased use of ADR would help facilitate economic development, as well as greater economic opportunities for companies seeking to do business in those countries. 

Although there are no comprehensive statistics available, CPR’s corporate members widely report an unwillingness of counterparties in emerging markets to entertain alternative forms of dispute resolution, including mediation.  This anecdotal evidence is supported by a review of the mediation statistics of every major mediation provider, which reflect a far lower number of mediations taking place in these emerging markets than in developed markets such as the U.S., U.K. and Western Europe.  At present, there are any number of organizations seeking to promote mediation in China and Southeast Asia, but in an environment where the reasons for this general unwillingness to engage in mediation are poorly understood, and where it is far from clear that the same cultural imperatives exist which drove widespread acceptance of mediation in markets such as the U.S. and U.K. (e.g., lowered litigation costs).  Corporations similarly report widespread difficulty in identifying highly qualified mediators in many of these markets even when a willing counterparty exists. A lack of qualified, recognized neutrals also acts as a damper on the growth of mediation in these markets.

Goals of the Initiative:

CPR’s Emerging Markets Mediation Growth Initiative has two fundamental goals and will consist of two distinct projects: 
The first is to undertake a broad-based survey of business interests in China and Southeast Asia, with the input of key coalition partners experienced in those markets, to identify and better understand the actual barriers that exist to the growth of mediation, and to analyze and suggest workable solutions, on a country specific basis, to the entry barriers identified by the survey. The survey is currently underway.  >Take the Survey NOW! 
The second goal is to develop reliable and skilled panels of neutrals in Asia and Eastern Europe, and to provide additional training to the individuals on these panels as needed. CPR’s goal is to publish these panels by September 2010 and to ensure that any additional requisite training is provided to these panel members by June 2011.
To achieve the goals set forth in the Barriers to Entry project, we will:
  • Establish an Asia Pacific Advisory Steering Committee, which would consist of approximately 5 individuals from Asia who are prominent in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution and have influence in the region and in the business community in the region who would guide the initial work of the broader Asia Pacific Advisory Committee.
  • Meet with major influencers in China, Vietnam, India, South Korea and other countries and with the Asia Pacific Advisory Committee.  These meetings would determine the most effective recipients of the survey instrument and ensure that:  we (1) develop a culturally sensitive survey tool; (2) identify the right recipients of the survey; (3) ensure that the white paper accurately represents actual practice in different cultures.
  • Work with the Advisory Committee to design a broad-based “Barriers to Entry” Survey.
  • Implement the Survey in Asia Pacific, including China, Vietnam, India, S. Korea and other countries per input of the Asia Pacific Advisory Committee.
  • Analyze the results of the survey and develop proposed solutions in consultation with CPR’s coalition partners.
  • Draft a White Paper setting forth the results of the survey and proposed actions to be taken.
  • Publish and promote the White Paper in the region with the guidance and support of the Asia Pacific Advisory Committee.