LAHORE: First ever and first of its kind in any Chambers of Commerce in the SAARC region, LCCI Mediation Centre, backed and supported by IFC World Bank Group, has formally been made operational on Saturday at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the out of court settlement of business disputes through mediation.
The decision to make operational the Mediation Centre was taken at a meeting between the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar and Associate Operations Officer IFC, World Bank Group Saima Zuberi and Isfandyar Khan here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Convener of the LCCI Mediation Centre and former Senior Vice President Sohail Lashari and other committee members were also present on the occasion.
The Mediation Centre has been established to help private sector companies to resolve disputes quickly and easily since in commercial court cases are often expensive and take a long time. It will avoid full-scale court procedures and dramatically reduce the time and cost of resolving disputes.
Businesses are often hindered by long and costly court procedures and the LCCI Mediation Centre will help them resolve disputes amicably, allowing them to devote more resources to growing and creating jobs.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that Mediation Centre is historic achievement for the business community of Lahore in particular and for the Punjab in general. He said that the scope of this centre would be extended to other chambers of commerce in the Punjab by signing MOUs with them. He said that the very objective of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry is smooth running of businesses.
“If two business partners have dispute over some issue, the LCCI Mediation Centre is the most suitable forum for them as this would save the company’s repute. “We are planning to communicate with the regional and international business community through their relevant government officials, leading chambers, sector associations, banks, multilateral development institutions and diplomatic missions informing them of the availability of a world-class mediation centre at Lahore Chambers for resolving business disputes.”
The Convener of the Mediation Centre Sohail Lashari said that this is a landmark project not just in Pakistan but also in the region. It’s a giant leap forward in terms of building a world-class platform at the Lahore Chamber for efficiently resolving business disputes. The establishment of an international standard mediation centre would not only improve investment climate in the country but would also send a very positive signal abroad because a large number of foreign investors could not put their money in Pakistan only because of absence of an institutionalized mediation mechanism. He said that such a mediation mechanism was need of the hour and is a big success of the private sector.