Over 800 lawyers, judicial officials and experts from 57 countries have registered to attend the Global Lawyers Forum from Dec 9 to 10 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, the Ministry of Justice said on Wednesday.

The forum, supported by the ministry and held by the All China Lawyers Association, aims to deepen exchanges and cooperation among lawyers and legal fields around the world and provide a platform for global legal partnership.

With a theme of “Scientific and Technological Progress and Legal Services”, the forum will also cover topics related to the Belt and Road Initiative, science and technology, cross-border investment, international trade and compliance, international commercial dispute resolution, public legal services and social responsibility, said Wang Junfeng, the association’s president.

Zhou Yuansheng, the director of the Bureau of Lawyers’ Work of the ministry, said that the forum will effectively demonstrate the historic achievements made under China’s rule of law and the development of lawyers in China, and promote further mutual understanding, trust and cooperation between the Chinese legal community and international counterparts.

“We have always been open to the world and learned from lawyers in other countries and regions. We are also willing to share stories of the rule of law in China,” Zhou said.

The number of lawyers in China now has reached nearly 460,000, with more than 30,000 law firms, handling more than 10 million cases of legal affairs annually.

With the deepening of China’s opening-up policy, Chinese law firms are also accelerating the pace of entering the international legal community and cooperating with overseas law firms.

Chinese law firms have set up branches in more than 30 countries and regions around the world. According to the association, there were over 7,200 lawyers in China focused on foreign-related legal affairs as of 2018.

Chinese lawyers annually handle over 100,000 foreign-related legal affairs in aspects including anti-dumping and countervailing investigations, intellectual property disputes, overseas investment and financing.

At present, 236 law firms from 22 countries and regions have set up 306 branches in 11 provinces and cities around China.