The FIMC pattern in Uzbekistan

The new service for international dispute resolution in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) will be implemented in collaboration with the Florence International Mediation Chamber and USAID Legal Reform Program.

The Florence Chamber of Commerce, by way of the Florence International Mediation Chamber (FIMC) and its Special Agency PromoFirenze, will contribute to the creation of the world class mediation service in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan government has recently set up a wide plan of attraction of investments and accelerated the implementation of legislative and judicial reforms to ensure a solid legal framework for upcoming transformations. Besides enhancing the courthouses efficiency, legislative measures have been enacted to develop alternative dispute resolutions mechanisms, such as arbitration and mediation.

In particular, an important milestone was the establishment of the Tashkent International Arbitration Centre (TIAC) at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan by a presidential decree issued in 2018. TIAC is the only institution in the country that, besides administering domestic arbitral proceedings, is authorized to administer disputes with foreign element, appointing foreign arbitrators and applying foreign law. . The first law on mediation in Uzbekistan is in force since January 2019; therefore, and following the popularity of the method, TIAC has been mandated to implement the mediation services as a dispute avoidance and alternative dispute resolution procedure . The objective is to establish TIAC as a reference point and a forum for the international dispute resolution, with a focus on investor-state disputes (those among State and investors) and disputes arising from the Belt and Road initiative projects, due to Uzbekistan’s strategic location.

The USAID Legal Reform Program (LRP) supports Uzbekistan’s efforts to ensure further development of rule of law principles, build the capacity of legal professionals and training institutions, enhance citizens’ access to justice, improve the legal operating environment for civil society, promote gender equality, and create a healthier investment climate. LRP support includes, inter alia, building capacity of TIAC by facilitating development of mediation rules by the FIMC.

The collaboration with TIAC is the occasion for the Florence Chamber of Commerce, through the FIMC, to share and make available the expertise gained in Italy, where the law on civil and commercial mediation is in force since 2010. FIMC role will be, among others, to assist TIAC in the creation of the service regulation, of a model of mediation clause, and of the criteria of price fixing, in order to obtain maximum satisfaction from Uzbek and foreign the parties, being them public or private bodies.

The development of the collaboration among the two institutions is an important support for Italian enterprises investing not only in Uzbekistan, but also in all central Asia area (Italy has a positive commercial balance of 29.9 million € with Uzbekistan, with a 54% of growth in 2019). Italian enterprises, including in their contracts a clause for possible dispute resolution through FIMC and TIAC, will find professional structures in Florence and Tashkent, with highly qualified international experts who will help to resolve disputes in a fast and confidential way, in order to protect the investments.

“We are particularly proud that FIMC is supporting the creation service of international mediation in Uzbekistan. This is a confirmation of the high quality level of our structure and increase the protection towards the enterprises that are working with this area. It also reinforce the centuries-old tradition of Florence being a merchant city, open to world economy” says Leonardo Bassilichi, president of Florence Chamber of Commerce.

“Italy as a jurisdiction has long had a proven record and extensive experience in dealing with preventative and mandatory mediation procedures. As the devotion to costlier lawsuits is being eroded, joining forces with our Italian colleagues from the FIMC is a splendid opportunity to exchange and cross-fertilize each other’s practices on dispute avoidance and dispute resolution of commercial and investment disputes in particular”, remarks Diana Bayzakova, TIAC Director

“One of the most valuable features of international mediation consists of its potential to promote the resolution of disputes between parties – with different perspectives and cultural backgrounds – based on their agreement and, possibly, in such a way that it may preserve their relationship. That accounts for the growing commitment by leading actors in the field to develop instruments which may foster the use of this mechanism, both on the national and international levels.
The forthcoming entering into force of the Singapore Convention on mediation and the increasing creation of national institutions and specific sets of rules designed to govern mediation between both private and public parties, bear witness to such widespread commitment.
Against this background, the cooperation between the FIMC and the TIAC stands out as a formidable example of how two recently established institutions based in different regions can join forces in enhancing this trend and support international businesses”, states Professor Attila Tanzi, Chair of International Law at the Bologna University (Italy) and member of the TIAC Supervisory Board.

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