Investment Treaties: Views and Experiences from Developing Countries
About the book: This book discusses the relationship between foreign direct investment, investment agreements and economic development. It examines the experiences of five developing countries reviewing their approach to international investment agreements and seeking alternatives in this area, including South Africa, Indonesia, India, Argentina, and Ecuador. Through reviewing investor-state dispute settlement cases, the book highlights how investment protection rules and the way they have been interpreted by arbitral tribunals have undermined the states’ right to adopt measures to protect public health and challenged the use of policy tools essential for industrialization. The book also discusses options for rethinking investment-related dispute settlement, including the option to reform the arbitration rules that apply to the disputes, and poses the question “What should investment-related dispute settlement look like if we were to start anew?”.
The Rise of Investor-State Dispute Settlement in the Extractive Sectors: Challenges and Considerations for African Countries
African countries have been active in concluding international investment treaties. They are increasingly subject to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases, including claims that challenge regulatory actions of host countries in a wide range of areas, including public services and race relations. At the same time, African States have developed the ‘Africa Mining Vision’, which is aimed at introducing policy (more…)
Foreign Direct Investment, Investment Agreements and Economic Development: Myths and Realities
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the most ambiguous and the least understood concepts in international economics. Common debate on FDI is confounded by several myths regarding its nature and impact on capital accumulation, technological progress, industrialization and growth. It is often portrayed as a long term, stable, cross-border flow of capital that adds to productive capacity, helps meet balance-of-payments shortfalls, transfers technology and management skills, and links domestic firms with wider global markets. However, none of these are intrinsic qualities of FDI. (more…)
Ecuador’s Experience with International Investment Arbitration
The brief reviews Ecuador’s experience with investment treaties and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The paper explains the historical and geopolitical context of the decisions Ecuador has taken in regard to bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and ISDS. The author notes that a number of treaties did not fulfill the constitutional and legal ratification processes. (more…)
International Investment Agreements and Africa’s Structural Transformation: A Perspective from South Africa
The brief describes the widening debate on the implications of international investment agreements (IIAs) for sustainable development. This debate is particularly relevant in Africa as the continent’s new economic development programme to effect structural transformation and achieve sustainable development may well be constrained by the terms and conditions imposed by IIAs. (more…)
India’s Experience with BITs: Highlights from Recent ISDS Cases
This brief argues that there is a case for a review of India’s bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The author recommends that the review should cover, inter alia, issues of more favourable treatment of foreigners compared to locals, and limitations on policy space of the government to address public interest concerns, in particular, those in the areas of public health and environment. (more…)
Crisis, Emergency Measures and the Failure of the ISDS System: The Case of Argentina
This brief gives an account of Argentina’s experience with investor-state dispute settlement in 2001-2014. Between 2002 and 2007, Argentina was the subject of a quarter of all the cases initiated within the framework of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention. These cases were triggered by changes within the regulatory framework for international investments –particularly in sectors related to the provision of public services– as a result of the implementation of a package of measures aimed at tackling one of the worst economic crises in Argentina’s history. (more…)
Indonesia’s Perspective on Review of International Investment Agreements
The South Centre releases a new policy brief series focusing on international investment agreements and experiences of developing countries.
As part of this series, the publication of Investment Policy Brief No. 1 entitled by Mr. Abdulkadir Jailani briefly describes Indonesia’s experience with at least six investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases. It also explains Indonesia’s decision to discontinue its existing international investment agreements (IIAs); to date, 17 out of 64 IIAs have been discontinued by Indonesia. The paper explains the rationale for this important policy measure. (more…)
Trade and Investment Agreements—Barriers to National Public Health and Tobacco Control Measures.
An arbitral tribunal is expected to issue soon a decision on jurisdictional matters in a case brought by Philip Morris against the government of Uruguay. The claim, based on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between that country and Switzerland, challenges packaging and labeling requirements for cigarettes adopted by Uruguay to reduce tobacco’s consumption. (more…)
Intellectual Property in Investment Agreements: The TRIPS-plus Implications for Developing Countries.
This analytical note examines, in particular, the implication of the emerging approaches relating to the fair and equitable treatment and the national and mostfavoured nation (MFN) treatment in investment agreements for the overall regimes for the protection and enforcement of IP in developing countries. (more…)
Developments on Discussions for the Improvement of the Framework for ICSID Arbitration and the Participation of Developing Countries.
The International Centre for settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is established by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID Convention) that entered into force on October 14, 1966. (more…)