1 The central question in this application concerns the applicability of the bilateral investment treaty ("BIT") between the People's Republic of China ("PRC") and the Lao People's Democratic Republic ("Laos") to the Macau Special Administrative Region of China ("Macau"). The second issue that arises concerns the interpretation of the dispute resolution article in that treaty.
2 The plaintiff is the Government of Laos while the defendant, Sanum Investments Limited, is a company incorporated in Macau. The defendant made certain investments in the gaming and hospitality industry in Laos. Disputes subsequently arose in relation to those investments and the defendant ultimately commenced arbitration proceedings against the plaintiff. The plaintiff disputed the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal ("the Tribunal") on the basis that the BIT did not apply to Macau but the Tribunal held otherwise. The plaintiff then brought the present application to refer the issue of jurisdiction to the High Court under s 10 of the International Arbitration Act (Cap 143A, 2002 Rev Ed) ("the IAA").