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Published: 20-11-2012, 08:22

International investment agreements

International investment agreements: The Rise of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)

International investment agreements: Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs)

International investment agreements: U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

International investment agreements: European Union Agreements

International investment agreements: Multilateral Initiatives

International investment agreements: Effects on Investment

International investment agreements: Dispute Settlement: Rising Case Load and Rising Awards

International investment agreements: Flaws in the System of Property Rights Enforcement

Investment provisions in bilateral investment treaties and reciprocal preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are intended to promote investment flows by granting investors greater predictability of the policies regulating foreign investment. These agreements typically provide for transparency, national treatment, nondiscrimination among foreign investors, and guarantees against expropriation. Some agreements may include disciplines preventing trade-related investment measures (TRIMS), such as local content requirements and local hiring requirements. Finally, nearly all provide some sort of dispute settlement provisions.

See also domestic content requirements; foreign direct investment and international technology transfer; foreign direct investment and tax revenues; foreign equity restrictions; free trade area; trade costs and foreign direct investment; trade-related investment measures (TRIMs)


  • Cosbey, Aaron,HowardMann, Luke Peterson, andKonrad Von Moltke. 2004. Investment and Sustainable Devel opment: A Guide to the Uses and Potential of International Investment Agreements. Ottawa: International Institute for SustainableDevelopment.Acomprehensive guide to international agreement provisions.
  •  Fink, Carsten, and Patrick Reichenmiller. 2005. ‘‘Tight ening TRIPS: Intellectual Property Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements.’’ In Trade, Doha, and Devel opment: A Window into the Issues, edited by Richard Newfarmer. Washington, DC: World Bank, 187 97. One of the first detailed analyses of IPR provisions in U.S. FTAs and their impact on access to medicine. 
  • Hallward Driemeier, Mary. 2003. ‘‘Do Bilateral Invest ment Treaties Attract FDI? Only a Bit . . . and They Could Bite.’’ World Bank Policy Research Paper No. 3121. Washington, DC: World Bank. A sophisticated econometric study of the effects of BITs on investment flows.
  •  Lederman, Daniel, William F. Maloney, and Luis Serven. 2003. Lessons from NAFTA for Latin America and Ca ribbean. Washington, DC: World Bank. The most de tailed study of NAFTA to date.
  •  Moran, Theodore. 2006. ‘‘Toward a Development Friendly International Regulatory Framework for For eign Direct Investment.’’ (September). Washington, DC: mimeo.Athoughtful discussion ofways to improve development outcomes through multilateral regulation. 
  • Neumayer, Eric, and Laura Spess. 2005 ‘‘Do Bilateral In vestment Treaties Increase Foreign Direct Investment to Developing Countries?’’ World Development 33 (10): 1567 85. Another serious study of BITs and investment flows to developing countries.
  •  Peterson, Luke. 2003a. ‘‘Research Note:Emerging Bilateral Investment Treaty Arbitration and Sustainable Devel opment.’’ IISD Invest New Bulletin (April). Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Devel opment. Renamed the Investment Treaty News, this electronic newsletter is an invaluable source of current information on investment disputes and related devel opments.
  •  . 2003b. ‘‘Czech Republic Hit with Massive Compensation Bill in Investment Treaty Dispute.’’ IISD Invest New Bulletin (March 21). Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable De velopment.
  •  . 2007. ‘‘Argentina Liable for $217 Million in In vestment Treaty Arbitration with Siemens.’’ Investment Treaty News (February 19). Available at http://www.iisd .org. Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sus tainable Development.
  •  Rose Ackerman, Susan, and Jennifer Tobin. 2005. ‘‘For eignDirect Investment andtheBusinessEnvironment in Developing Countries: The Impact of Bilateral Invest ment Treaties.’’ Yale Law and Economics Research Pa per 293 (May). New Haven: Yale University. A useful analysis of BITs and investment.
  •  United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). 1998. Bilateral Investment Treaties in the Mid 1990s. New York: United Nations. UNCTAD is the leading data source for information on FDI around the world. 
  • . 2005. ‘‘Investor State Disputes Arising from In vestment Treats: A Review.’’ Geneva: UNCTAD. 
  • . 2006a. ‘‘Entry into Force of Bilateral Invest ment Treaties (BITs).’’ IIA Monitor No. 3. Geneva: UNCTAD.
  •  . 2006b. ‘‘Latest Developments in Investor State Dispute Settlement.’’ IIA Monitor No. 4. Geneva: UNCTAD. Wells, Louis, and Ahmed, Rafiq. 2007. Making Foreign Investment Safe: Property Rights andNational Sovereignty. NewYork:OxfordUniversity Press.One of themost in depth political economic studies of investment disputes and their causes, resolutions, and weaknesses.
  •  World Bank. 2003. Global Economic Prospects 2004: In vesting to Unlock Global Opportunities. Washington, DC: World Bank. Examines investment policy from a development perspective, with a chapter on investment in WTO negotiations.
  •  . 2004. Global Economic Prospects 2005: Trade, Re gionalism, and Development. Washington, DC: World Bank. Provides a comparative analysis of investment provisions in different settings from U.S. and EU agree ments.


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