The Investors Across Borders 2010 report of the International Finance Corporation, shows that effective commercial arbitration systems matter to foreign investors for two reasons. First, complex commercial contracts require reliable, flexible dispute resolution mechanisms, as they give commercial parties considerable autonomy to create systems tailored to their dispute. Second, companies often prefer to have an alternative to potential court litigation, especially given the fact that they perceive well–established, conventional arbitration systems as mitigating the risk factor and providing a sense of security to them (including an assurance of contract enforcement rights, due process, and fair and swift access to justice).
It is no surprise that past studies, such as 2015 Survey ‘Improvements and Innovations in International Arbitration’ have shown that 90% of respondents indicate that international arbitration is their preferred dispute resolution mechanism, either as a stand-alone method (56%) or together with other forms of ADR (34%). Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are of even greater importance for the countries of the Western Balkans region, as they are a valuable asset for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). As clearly outlined in the above mentioned report, a stable, predictable arbitration system, as part of a broader framework for the rule of law, is one of the factors that drive foreign investment to grow and should be one of the top priorities for any country in the region.
When looking at the arbitration system in BiH, one can notice three main problems: lack of educated and trained professionals and practitioners, lack of awareness among business and local community on arbitration and its benefits, and lack of one coherent piece of legislation regulating this matter. Therefore, the Association implements three pillar projects aimed at solving these problems: education, promotion and legal reform.