Over our more than 100-year history, we have grown into one of the world's leading dispute resolution institutions. Every year, parties from around 45 different countries choose us to settle their disputes.
Our international status as a forum for dispute resolution originates in the Optional Clause Agreement, an agreement signed in 1977 between the United States (through the American Arbitration Association) and the then Soviet Union (through the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry). This agreement allowed for US-Soviet commercial disputes to be resolved in Sweden with the assistance of the SCC. Around the same time, China also chose to transfer its international disputes to Sweden and the SCC.
Sweden and the SCC have also played a unique role in the system developed for international investment protection. In over 120 bilateral investment protection treaties, Sweden or the SCC is named as the forum for disputes between investor and state. We are now the second largest institution in the world for investment disputes. In the EU, there is an ongoing discussion on how to resolve disputes in investment agreements.
Innovation and development are important to ensure that we continue to provide services that are relevant to the business community. The SCC, for example, was the first in the world to develop a digital communications platform for case management, including a secure database for documents.