UNCITRAL Colloquium on Contractual Networks and Other Forms of Inter-Firm Cooperation, 25-26 March 2019, New York
UNCITRAL International Colloquium on MSMEs
Colloquium on Contractual Networks and Other Forms of Inter-Firm Cooperation
New York, 25-26 March 2019
25 March 2019
Welcome address - Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, The Secretrary, UNCITRAL
10:45-12:30: Challenges faced by MSMEs in the modern economy: reasons behind networks of MSMEs
Moderator: Ms. Jeannette Tramhel (Senior Legal Officer, Organization of American States) Moderator's powerpoint
The session aimed at setting the context for the colloquium. It introduced the main economic issues behind the desirability of tools to facilitate and foster MSME business, such as those based upon inter-firm cooperation and contractual networks. For this reason, the words “cooperation” or “networks” were understood in a broad manner and not linked to any existing legal concept. The presentations and the open discussion helped identify the main legal issues concerning MSMEs’ cooperation, which were further analyzed and discussed in the following sessions.
- Ms. Riefqah Jappie, Representative to the United Nations, International Trade Centre, Global overview of the challenges faced by MSMEs in domestic and international contexts
- Dr. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief, New York Office, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, MSMEs and the Sustainable Development Goals
- Prof. Christophe Assens, LAREQUOI research center in management, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (Paris Saclay), France, MSMEs’ networks in the global economy
- Mr. Hiroyuki Ozaki, United Nations Industrial Development Organization to the United Nations, New York, UNIDO’s support to MSMEs through networking and clustering
- Prof. Eric Vermeulen, Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Platform economy: how the new economy is shaping contract practices of MSMEs
15:00-17:15: Examples of Multiparty Contracts Creating Networks
Moderator: Prof. Ethan Leib (Fordham University Law School, USA)
Economic development is increasingly driving local economies towards global markets prompting business entities of all sizes to join forces to access those markets. Such strategic alliances can result in the creation of corporate entities with high level of integration among the participants or more flexible forms of contractual cooperation. In some cases, those contractual forms of cooperation present features different from the more traditional corporate or contract law approach. This session discussed examples of those contracts that lead to the creation of networks of enterprises and the corresponding forms of legal architecture behind them.
- Prof. Fabrizio Cafaggi, Council of State, Italy, An introduction to contractual networks
- Prof. Paola Iamiceli, Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy, The Italian network contract
- Prof. Henry Gabriel, Elon University, USA, and member of UNIDROIT Governing Council, Contract farming
- Prof. Sheraldine Pinto, Central University of Venezuela, Venezuela, Networks of contracts in the oil and gas industry
- Prof. Matthew Jennejohn, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, USA, Foundations of contractual networks in aviation, automotive, and biotech
26 March 2019
10:00-12:15: Legal tools in various legal traditions to facilitate MSME business
Moderator: Prof. Sinisa Petrovic (University of Zagreb, Croatia)
This session presented how States of different geographic regions address tools to foster MSME business through cooperation. It highlighted common approaches and divergences between existing regulated systems. The focus was on the comparison of various types of inter-firm cooperation, their formation, organization and governance. Particular consideration was given to solutions enabling the creation of models of inter-firm cooperation.
- Prof. Vincent Malassigné, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (Paris-Saclay), France, The Economic Interest Grouping
- Prof. Jingxia Shi, China University of International Business and Economics, China, Contractual joint ventures in China
- Mr. J. William Callison, Lawyer, American Bar Association, USA, Facilitating MSMEs’ growth through open and flexible organizational forms: Unincorporation in the USA
- Prof. Gen Goto, University of Tokyo, Japan, Relational contracts between Japanese manufacturers and their suppliers
- Dr. Boubacar Diarrah, Director of Legal Affairs, Organization for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), Cooperatives in Africa: case study of the OHADA
15:00-16:15: Would MSMEs benefit from a uniform trade law instrument?
Moderator: Prof. Maria Chiara Malaguti (Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy)
Taking stock of the presentations and discussions of the two days, this session examined whether States would benefit from a uniform instrument facilitating cooperation among MSMEs. The goal was to assist UNCITRAL in determining whether this could be an area of its future work.
Would a uniform trade law instrument promote contractual cooperation among multiple MSMEs and foster their business? If so, what would be an appropriate starting point for the work and what legal issues might be addressed?
- Ms. Jeannette Tramhel (rapporteur session 1)
- Prof. Sheraldine Pinto, (rapporteur session 2)
- Prof. Sinisa Petrovic (rapporteur session 3)
- Prof. Dan Danielsen (Northeastern University, United States)
17:30-18:00 Concluding remarks from the UNCITRAL Secretariat