India: Arbitral Award Passed In China: Recognition And Enforceability In India

Last Updated: 8 August 2013
Article by Akshay Malhotra

Most Read Contributor in India, September 2016

In a recent administrative event on 19th March, 2012 India has declared that Arbitral Awards passed in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) will be recognized and enforced in Indian Courts.

Arbitration in Asia-Pacific has gained popularity over Europe and United States owing to escalating investment in and out of Asian Countries. Recognizing the growing importance of International Arbitration as an undisputed means of resolving international commercial disputes, Indian Ministry of Law and Justice has affirmed that Arbitral Awards passed in People's Republic of China (including special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau) on or after 19th March, 2012 may be recognized and enforced in India. This decision will add another state to the list of already existing 44 "Gazetted-States", the Arbitral Awards of which are recognized and enforceable in India. An International Arbitral Award to be recognized & enforced in India ought to be passed in a State notified via Government of India Official Gazette. This condition flows from Section 44 of Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996. Hence even if an Arbitral Award is passed in a Country which is a signatory to New York Convention, 1958 it would not ipso facto mean that it would be enforceable in India. The enforcement of Awards passed in Arbitration proceedings seated outside the territory of India is governed by Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The Act is modeled on United Nation Commission on International Trade Law (UNICTRAL) model law.

India is a party to New York Convention, 1958. It became a party to the New York Convention, 1958 on 10th June, 1958 and ratified it on 13th July, 1961.The main aim of this Convention is recognition & enforcement of Arbitral awards passed in the contracting state should not be discriminated and obliges the parties to ensure that such awards are recognized. Presently 146 States are party to the New York Convention, 1958 out of which only 44 States have been Gazetted by Government of India. China is also a signatory to Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (New York Convention, 1958) but it was absent from the list of gazetted territories till now. This was considered to be an incongruity amongst the Arbitral community.


The unparalleled level of trade between India and China has reached an all time high. Indo-Chinese bilateral trade has cropped up from being as low as US $ 2.92 Billion in the year 2000 to US $ 73.9 Billion in the year 2012 making China largest trading partner of India1. The trade between India and China is expected to touch US $ 100 Billion by the end of 2015. After the announcement of gazetting China, Sino-India trade is expected to prosper and create new benchmarks in trade relations between India & China. This step taken by the Indian Government will have a constructive effect on the ever so affluent trade between the two countries. Prior to the notification, entrepreneurs from China and India selected Singapore (Singapore International Arbitration Centre) as the preferred seat of Arbitration as China was absent from the list of gazetted states as also fearing the non recognition of Arbitral Awards in India. Now there will be a more evenhanded choice for those deciding between Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) & Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). Apart from SIAC & HKIAC there is another well recognized Arbitration Institution in Asia called CIETAC ("China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission"). CIETAC is the leading and busiest Arbitration Institution in China having its Headquarters in Beijing.


HKIA Administered Arbitration Rules are based on UNCITRAL model law which has also inspired the Indian Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996. Following the notification, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre was quick to spot the implications of the notification and HKIA's General Secretary Chiam Bao commented in a press event that "with Sino-Indian trade on increase, this long awaited clarification is welcomed by the Hong Kong's Arbitration Community. We look forward to showcasing India the many attractive features that Hong Kong has to offer as a seat of Arbitration". HKIAC has also announced revised Administered Arbitration Rules (the "2013 HKIA Rules") to ensure their suitability to mounting complexities in International Arbitration Disputes. Key changes to the existing Arbitration rules include.

  • ability to handle multi-party & multi-party disputes,
  • improvements on expedited procedure,
  • improved terms and conditions to stream line the Appointment of Arbitrator process and
  • provision for emergency relief in cases of urgent nature2.

The revised HKIA Administered Arbitration Rules will come into force on 1st November, 2013. Revised HKIA Rules and state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional infrastructure will definitely give a tough competition to Singapore as a seat of Arbitration in the disputes involving Indian parties.

Similarly CIETAC has also come up as an Arbitration friendly Institution with the adoption of revised Arbitration Rules which came into effect from 1st May, 2012. Some noteworthy changes to the CIETAC Arbitration Rules include -

  • provision for consolidation of parallel proceedings to be consolidated into a single Arbitration proceeding,
  • removal of the provision making Chinese as a default language of Arbitration and
  • ability to choose an arbitral seat which could be a city outside mainland China3.

These changes will be welcomed by the Indian parties which used to prefer Singapore as a seat of Arbitration over China and Hong Kong. The change in the CIETAC Arbitration Rules and recognition of its awards in India can revolutionize the ubiquitous trend of choosing Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the parties may be attracted towards CIETAC while choosing a seat of Arbitration when one of the parties is from Singapore to endorse neutrality.


The recognition and enforcement of Arbitral Awards passed in China will prove to be an encouraging development for Indian parties engaged in International Trade with Asian Country. This will prove to be a blessing for the Indian parties in conflict with Singaporean entities as now they have a viable substitute to Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). In cases of Multi party Contract, HKIA & CIETAC will not be excluded as a seat of Arbitration only on the basis of non-recognition of Awards. The Hong Kong and Chinese Governments must take advantage of this development to exterminate the domination of Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) as a preferred seat of Arbitration and elucidate the implications of the notification to the users of Arbitration. Only time will tell if China/Hong Kong will be able to capitalize on this key opportunity and attract parties with Arbitration disputes.



2 HKIAC Press Release, 12 June, 2013

3 CIETAC Arbitration Rules

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.