The Belt and Road International Lawyers Association was launched by the All China Lawyers Association in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Sunday to promote legal cooperation among countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Members of the Belt and Road International Lawyers Association, a nongovernmental, nonprofit professional organization, include bar associations, law firms and individual lawyers from various countries and regions. It has 85 founding members－35 from China and 50 from 35 other countries and regions.
It aims to create a regular communication mechanism for lawyers from countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative by organizing conferences, visits and training, studying key legal issues, providing legal services to support economic exchanges, and improving BRI regional trade rules.
Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua said at the inauguration ceremony on Sunday that over the six years of the development of the BRI, countries and regions involved in it have felt an urgent need for a specialized legal service platform to ensure smooth financing and trade connectivity.
He said it was under this common wish that the All China Lawyers Association proposed the establishment of the Belt and Road International Lawyers Association to encourage exchanges with international lawyers and the discussion of cooperation plans.
As the first international bar association registered in China, Fu suggested its members focus on advancing strategic planning to help interpret policies, discuss long-term legal issues and facilitate cooperative plans and international rules.
He also called on members to share resources and give full play to their expertise to provide professional services for international trade and investment, provide feasible solutions for project construction and jointly resolve international business disputes.
"The establishment of the association marks that lawyers in BRI countries and regions have entered a new stage of exchanges and cooperation and their participation in constructing the world legal system has opened a new chapter," he said, adding that it will have a profound impact on the legal system, innovation and the construction of a community of shared future for mankind.
Members of the new association elected its first council at its first general assembly Sunday afternoon and also voted on its constitution and fee standards. The first council then held its first meeting, where the association's president, vice-presidents and secretary-general were elected. Wang Junfeng, the president of the All China Lawyers Association, was elected president of the new association.