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MCCI-IORA Collaboration: International Symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel played host to the International Symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) 2024 on Thursday, February 8, 2024. This event was a collaborative effort between the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), in conjunction with the Mediation and Arbitration Center of Mauritius (MARC).

From left to right: Mrs Sarada Moothoosamy, Head of Finance and Management, MCCI, Mr Charles Harel, Vice-President, MCCI, Dr Salman Farisi, Secretary General, IORA, Mr Alexis Merle, Registrar, MARC, Mrs Namita Jagarnath Hardowar, Chairperson of the MCCI and MARC, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Dr Drishtysingh Ramdenee, Secretary General, MCCI, and Mrs Rooma Narrainen, Head of Advocacy, MCCI.

The symposium unfolded in two distinct segments. The opening ceremony featured speeches by Namita Jagarnath Hardowar, President of MCCI and MARC, Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, and Dr. Salman Farisi, Secretary-General of IORA. These addresses underscored the pivotal role of ADR in the economic and geostrategic development of the IOR region. The subsequent part of the symposium focused on panel discussions, where professionals from various backgrounds—including legal experts, business leaders, and financial services professionals—engaged in exchanging ideas and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of ADR in the region.


The conference emerged as a focal point for strategic exchanges and discussions, bringing together policymakers, legal experts, and financial sector professionals. Its primary objective was to underscore the critical role of ADR in the Indian Ocean region, particularly in bolstering Mauritius’ stature as a regional hub for financial services and dispute resolution.


Concurrently, emphasis was placed on promoting Mauritius’ pivotal role as a preferred platform for investment and trade in Africa. With over $82 billion USD in successfully structured investments directed towards several African states, and a robust International Financial Centre (IFC), Mauritius offers an environment conducive to business growth and effective dispute resolution.


MARC and MCCI are committed to enhancing these initiatives and positioning Mauritius as a regional hub for dispute resolution and investments in Africa. Strategic partnerships with key stakeholders and awareness campaigns are underway to realise this ambitious vision.


According to Namita Jagarnath Hardowar, President of MCCI and MARC, “this symposium marks a crucial turning point for Mauritius as we seek to play a more significant role in ADR at the regional level, aligning our economic aspirations with the expansion of our International Financial Centre (IFC) and establishing Mauritius as a hub of excellence for ADR.


Investors require certainty, stability, and predictability. That’s why when there is a clear process for out-of-court dispute resolution mechanisms, investors feel reassured to utilize the International Financial Centre (IFC). And this holds particular significance for an IFC like Mauritius,” Mahen Seeruttun, Minister of Financial Services, stated.


Dr. Drishtysingh Ramdenee, Secretary-General of MCCI, highlighted the growing importance of ADR in addressing Mauritius’ emerging needs as a financial services centre. He stated, “The local demand for ADR is evident, especially with the rise of the financial services sector and services trade within the frameworks of free trade agreements between Mauritius, Africa, and Asia. To consolidate our position as a financial hub, Mauritius must necessarily be an ADR jurisdiction.


Furthermore, Madhvendra Singh, CEO of Gujarat Maritime Cluster, presented the findings of a comparative study on ADR in the Indian Ocean region, highlighting the challenges and opportunities for Mauritius as a dispute resolution centre. The conclusions of this study will serve as a guide to strengthen local capacities in dispute resolution, and position Mauritius as a regional leader in this field.


For Dr. Salman Farisi, this visionary initiative aims to provide a collaborative platform for Member States, facilitating the sharing of best practices, pooling resources, and implementing projects promoting ADR methods in our region.


By emphasizing the importance of ADR in stimulating investment, fostering economic growth, and enhancing investor confidence, Mauritius is firmly committed to the path of the future in dispute resolution,” Alexis Merle, Registrar of MARC, stated.

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