LAHORE - The countries of South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) now need not approaching the International Court of Arbitration to resolve their trade related disputes as the SAARC CCI has finally agreed to resolve all trade disputes at SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO) through a comprehensive mechanism.

This was disclosed by Thusantha Wikemanna, Director General, SAARC Arbitration Council while talking to Vice President SAARC Chamber Pak chapter Iftikhar Ali Malik.

He said that seeking remedy of disputes at International Court of Arbitration was cumbersome and expensive while resolution of disputes cropped up between two private or public sectors at SARCO would be speedy and economical.

It was agreed in principal by delegates of member countries to settle their trade related disputes at regional level instead of international court and it was further agreed that all Vice Presidents of SAARC Chamber will approach their respective governments for enactment of necessary legislation in this regard with a provision of first approaching regional arbitration council.

Unfolding the salient features of the mechanism, he said the SARCO was a treaty based establishment and a vital organ of the SAARC. He said the SARCO was an inter-regional, independent body governed and funded by the SAARC member countries. He said that despite being a fledgling institute, SARCO, due to its impartiality, could prove to be an excellent mechanism through which inter-trade disputes could be settled amicably.

The DG further highlighted that the SARCO is sensitive and adherent to the various cultural differences amongst the member states and guarantees to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of justiciable solutions of conflicts.

Thusantha Wikemanna said that SARCO had proposed that all

or any of the future agreements between the member states whether inter-state or between private individuals, should contain the model clause to enable them to make use of SARCO to settle disputes arising out of aforementioned agreements.

Thusantha Wijenanna said that different member countries had now established their joint ventures in each other country in various sectors.

He thanked Vice President SAARC chamber Pak chapter head for offering permanent office of DG Arbitration at SAARC Chamber Headquarters Islamabad.