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Co-Dean Silley Advises on the Role of Notaries in the Construction of a Free Trade Port in Hainan

An International Conference on “The Value of Notarization in the Construction of a Free Trade Port”, focused on themes of Integrity, Risk Prevention and Control, was held in Hainan, China. This was organized by the distinguished Fenghuang Notary Office in Sanya and took place on December 8, 2019.

(CESL Executive Co-Dean Monty Silley speaks, as panel host and former Dean of Peking University Law School, Prof. Shouwen Zhang, attentively follows the presentation)

Monty Silley, Executive Co-Dean of the China-EU School of Law (CESL) at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), was invited to speak. His presentation compared the legal workings of international trading cities around the world. He used examples from Germany, and Germany’s biggest port city of Hamburg, to highlight what role Chinese notaries could play in the construction of a new free trade port in Hainan. Co-Dean Silley drew upon his knowledge of Hamburg, as he previously lived there and continues to be part of the University of Hamburg’s Faculty of Law, which is where CESL’s European Consortium Office is also based.

President Xi Jinping last year announced a decision by the government of China to support building Hainan into a pilot free trade zone and then into a free trade port. Under the plan, the whole island of Hainan will be built into the country's largest free trade zone. As China welcomes foreign investors to start businesses in Hainan, and multinational companies are encouraged to locate their regional headquarters there, Co-Dean Silley talked about what notaries can do to facilitate this process, support economic development, and provide increased legal security. He also discussed the future of notarization in light of blockchain technologies and smart contracts.

Co-Dean Monty Silley’s contributions will be valuable in the context of Hainan’s legal reforms and the region’s opening-up to increased internationalization. At the same time, Co-Dean Silley was honoured to accept an appointment to serve as a Foreign Expert of the Sanya Fenghuang Notary Research Institute.

(Co-Dean Silley is handed the certificate of Appointment as a Foreign Expert by Prof. Ma)

(Appointment Ceremony of Foreign Experts to the Sanya Fenghuang Notary Research Institute)

In addition to many notable scholars, the conference attracted senior government officials and policy makers, industry associations, business leaders, and various news media. Other international legal and notary experts came from countries such as France, Japan, Portugal, Mongolia and Mauritius. This group intends to work together to support Hainan’s long-term vision of becoming a world-leading free trade port.