Emerging Legal Standards in Harmonization of Trade Law and Implications for Regional Economic Cooperation

1 December 2018, Macau SAR, China

The UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific and the Faculty of Law, University of Macau, will jointly host the UNCITRAL-UM Joint Conference titled “Emerging Legal Standards in Harmonization of Trade Law and Implications for Regional Economic Cooperation” at University of Macau, Macau SAR on 1 December 2018.
The theme of the conference is particularly designed to explore the question of how trade development can be enhanced through harmonization of commercial law, which is a mandate of international organizations like the UNCITRAL. The theme of the conference is also intended to address the role of regional conduits of international trade like Macau SAR and how harmonization can augment their position.
The five conference tracks namely micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as alternative dispute resolution and investor-state dispute settlement as well as electronic commerce and digital economy as well as security interest and insolvency as well as public private partnerships and regional development.
The Conference includes invited talks by experts in the field including from the UNCITRAL. The Conference also includes an academic call for paper, which is expected to draw distinguished scholars from around the world.
We take pleasure in inviting you to join the conference either as a speaker or delegate, which we believe is critical for the success of the conference. Feel free to contact us at law.umuncitral@umac.mo for any queries or suggestions. Thank you.

Call for Papers

The call for papers is now open for the UNCITRAL-UM Joint Conference 2018 scheduled on 1 December 2018 in Macau SAR. This is the fifth conference resulting from the cooperation between the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific and University of Macau following the successful organization of four high level international conferences by the two institutions since 2014. Paper proposals are invited under a broad theme of ‘Emerging Legal Standards in Harmonization of Trade Law and Implications for Regional Economic Cooperation’.

As one of the core legal institution of the United Nations, it seeks to progressively harmonize and unify national and regional laws to promote international trade. The UNCITRAL has developed a variety of instruments, including conventions, model laws, and codifications of international trade terms, legislative guides and standards. The UNCITAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific was inaugurated in 2012 to promote harmonization and unification instruments of UNCITRAL in the Asia-Pacific region with the objective of diminishing legal obstacles to global commercial transactions.

University of Macau, founded in 1981, is the leading comprehensive public university in Macau. It is a young but resourceful and ambitious educational institution, with unique Sino-European heritage and global connections. In 2017, University of Macau has been ranked within the top fifty universities in Asia by the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017 and it is emerging as a leading university in many frontiers of high-level research and teaching. The Faculty of Law of University of Macau, which is responsible in organizing the conference, is the oldest law school in Macau. With its diverse and multilingual programs and teaching staff of international background, the Faculty has been playing a very important role in the promoting legal education and research in Macau and contributing to the building-up of local legal system. In addition, the Faculty of Law has also successfully held many high-level international academic conferences and meetings in a range of legal topics.

Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China has established itself as a top gaming and tourism destination in Asia. It is a global city endowed with a well-developed infrastructure for trade and industry. Macau adheres to the free market economy and has in place a simple and low taxation system, autonomous customs and widespread international market network. Macau is currently advancing towards moderate economic diversification, by promoting accelerated growth of its convention and exhibition industry, cultural and creative industries, traditional Chinese medicine and trade in services. It is also striving to become a regional economic and trade services platform, with the ability to provide quality service to investors and traders from all over the world. Macau, with its unique historical and cultural background, has also been designated as a platform for promoting economic and trade exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

The UNCITRAL-UM Joint conference with a theme of ‘Emerging Legal Standards in Harmonization of Trade Law and Implications for Regional Economic Cooperation’ will address critical legal issues in five specific tracks focusing on contemporary international, regional and national developments in the related topics. The conference invites researchers, scholars, and practitioners to share their insightful opinions and important findings of their research related to the conference theme and tracks. Aiming to promote an international dialogue, the conference is now seeking submissions of paper proposals/abstracts to explore the following tracks:


Paper proposals could be submitted on any of the following five tracks with a focus on (but not limited to) the issues indicated in each track:

Track 1 Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises:

Reduction of legal obstacles faced by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Simplification of incorporation and good practices in business registration of SMEs in Asia-Pacific.

Track 2. Alternative Dispute Resolution and Investor-State Dispute Settlement:

Concerns regarding investor-State dispute settlement and potential reforms. Regional perspectives on investor-State dispute settlement reforms. Transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution. International settlement agreements resulting from commercial mediation.

Track 3. Electronic Commerce and Digital Economy:

Global Digital Economy and the significance of harmonization of law governing cross-border recognition of identity management, trust services and cloud computing. Paperless trade facilitation, paperless arbitration and electronic cross-border single window facilities.

Track 4. Security Interest and Insolvency:

Contractual, transactional and regulatory issues relating to secured transactions. Legal issues relating to the financing of micro-businesses. Recognition and enforcement of an insolvency-related judgment in Asia-Pacific. Cross-border insolvency of enterprise groups and obligations of directors of enterprise group companies in the period approaching insolvency. Insolvency of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Track 5. Public Private Partnerships and Regional Development:

Legal issues in public-private partnerships or privately financed infrastructure projects and development in the context of ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and ‘Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area’ cooperation.

Selection Criteria

The paper proposals for the conference will be selected on a competitive process and will take into consideration
(1) the quality of the proposed topic and abstract, relevance to the broad theme and to the work areas already covered by UNCITRAL;
(2) the regional diversity of presenters (including diversity of legal traditions);
(3) balance between senior and junior presenters; and
(4) gender balance.
The authors of the accepted proposals will be notified and will be invited to submit a draft presentation/paper at the conference and subsequently a full paper for publication consideration.

Important Dates

18 November 2018:

Closing date for submission of the paper abstracts via law.umuncitral@umac.mo. Authors of the accepted paper abstracts will be notified on a rolling basis after the proposals are reviewed.

23 November 2018:

Closing date for submission of the draft presentation/paper.

28 November 2018:

Closing date for (free) registration for participation in the Conference.

31 March 2019:

Closing date for submission of the full paper.


In addition to the abstract proposal (no more than 250 words), the submission must indicate
(1) the title of the paper,
(2) the proposed track and related topic,
(3) key words, identifying the theme of the proposed paper, so as to assist in the categorization process; and
(4) the speaker's bio in not more than 250 words and contact information.


After the conclusion of the conference, authors are invited to submit the full updated paper for review for potential publications. Some selected papers may be considered for a possible online publication by the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, to stimulate interest, research, and study on UNCITRAL and its texts. The papers must follow the OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities) style of referencing. Select papers may also be considered for possible external publication in a reviewed academic journal or an edited book.

For more information and enquiries, please visit our website:
www.umac.mo/fll/umuncitral.or contact us at law.umuncitral@umac.mo.



All presenters and attendees are required to complete the formal registration process in order to secure a place in the conference.

The registration for the conference is free of charge.

However, accepted speakers and participants in the conference are required to complete a registration form in advance and obtain confirmation in order to secure a place in the conference.

Copyright 2018, Faculty of Law