What you need to know
Who will sign the agreement?
The agreement is between the DIFC Courts and the High Court of Zambia, and has been reviewed and approved by the High Court of Zambia.
When and where will it be signed?
The MOG will take place on 4 October 2017, at the Africa Legal Network (ALN) Annual International Conference 2017 in Dubai.
Why is the MOG significant?
The agreement will give additional confidence to businesses operating in both the UAE and Zambia. By signing this agreement, the DIFC Courts will bring certainty to UAE companies operating in southern Africa. Zambia is an emerging gateway to southern Africa for UAE businesses, while imports from the country have increased markedly in recent years. It is the UAE’s fourth largest source of imports from Africa. These exports, mostly in the form of raw materials such as copper, cobalt, electricity, tobacco, flowers and cotton, have grown rapidly in recent years, while the UAE is a significant source of foreign direct investment and finance into Zambia, intensifying the need for courts systems in the two countries to collaborate on areas such contract enforcement.
What is the cooperation agreement about?
The agreement, to be signed by DIFC Courts Chief Justice Michael Hwang and High Court for Zambia Chief Justice Mrs. Irene C. Mambilima in Dubai, clarifies the requirements and procedures for the mutual enforcement of money judgments between the two courts. This is the second such agreement signed by the DIFC Courts with an African judiciary, following a 2014 memorandum with the High Court of Kenya (Commercial and Admiralty Division).
What is the commercial importance of the agreement?
Zambia is an emerging gateway to southern Africa for UAE businesses and imports from them have fast increased over the years. Bordered by eight other countries and a member of both the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zambia is an important regional trade hub. In addition, Zambia had one of the world’s fastest growing economies for the ten years up to 2014, with real GDP growth averaging roughly 6.7% per annum. By 2016, Zambia’s exports of goods and services amounted to 43.8% of total GDP.
Underpinning both trends are an increasing number of contracts, of which, inevitably, some will result in disputes. This agreement gives additional confidence to businesses operating in both the UAE and Zambia that a contract will be honoured. It also reaffirms the DIFC Courts’ position as one of the world’s most connected judiciaries.
A practical guide for the international business community, the Memorandum of Guidance (MoG) enables both courts to outline what will happen when a money judgment is transferred from one jurisdiction to another with a view to enforcing that judgment against assets in the other jurisdiction.
When did work on the agreement start?
The Memorandum of Guidance has been under discussion for over a year, culminating in the signing of the agreement in October 2017.
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