As international trade between Pacific Rim countries and their trading partners has increased dramatically in recent years, governmental and business leaders from major Asia-Pacific trading countries have focused on the need to modernize and reform their commercial laws to promote trade and foreign investment. One of the most difficult tasks facing many of these nations is modernization of dispute resolution procedures for transnational transactions. For a variety of reasons, the region's international arbitration system has not yet come of age. Thus, the existing system resembles a gangling adolescent affected by growing pains, while showing glimpses of maturity.
Due to the diverse attitudes prevalent in the region relating to litigation or arbitration and differing stages of development of commercial laws, one cannot make a general statement as to the acceptance of international commercial arbitration. A number of positive trends, however, are emerging.
Arbitration clauses are being incorporated in an increasing number of transnational agreements. Many of the region's major trading nations have signed and ratified the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and the 1965 Washington Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.