Congo Will Adhere to New York Convention Arbitration Rules

The Democratic Republic of Congo intends to ratify the New York Convention rules on the recognition of international arbitration rulings, the Prime Minister’s office said today.

Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito made the announcement in a meeting with representatives of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund about improving the country’s business environment, according to an e-mailed statement from Muzito’s office.

Congo’s ministries of environment and mining also plan to begin publishing completed mining contracts and lists of timber and mining permits on their respective websites to improve transparency in the sectors, the statement said.

The Central African nation, which has a third of the world’s cobalt resources and 4 percent of its copper, is facing two international arbitration cases over cancelled mining contracts belonging to First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM) The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation was a minority shareholder in one of the First Quantum projects, and is party to the case against Congo at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris.

In March 2010, the IFC announced a moratorium on any new investments in Congo until the dispute was resolved. If Congo ratified the New York Convention, it would require the country to enforce the international arbitration rulings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Kavanagh in Goma on Mkavanagh9@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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