Updated: 06/12/2012 01:11

PM Lee: Singapore needs to recognise legal services as an economic opportunity in its own right



PM Lee: Singapore needs to recognise legal services as an economic opportunity in its own right

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that Singapore needs to recognise legal services as an economic opportunity in its own right, one which serves the entire region and the world. 

Speaking at the Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, Mr Lee said with a rising number of companies in Asia operating across different legal systems, arbitration becomes the default mode of resolving commercial cross-border disputes. 

Mr Lee said Singapore's rule of law makes it well-positioned to be an arbitration hub. 

He cited factors such as the country's neutrality, judicial philosophy and transparency. 

Since the late 1990s, the government has been aggressively promoting Singapore's legal services industry. 

Today, foreign law firms are free to undertake areas of Singapore commercial law. 

Mr Lee noted that it also means stiffer competition but he said the benefits outweigh the costs. 

He said Singapore is now a hub for commercial legal services that supports investment and trade in Asia. 

Offshore firms bring international work to Singapore. 

As a result, young lawyers too have more opportunities to build their careers at home.

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