Awaiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, by Antonio Delgado

Last month, the leaders of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam announced that the negotiations for completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) were on track. Progress was made on the legal texts and annexes that will regulate a diverse range of sectors that include goods and services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry markets. The focus of the TPP is now aimed at resolving the outstanding issues and achieving a final agreement by the end of this year.[1] Continue reading

Pakistan’s BIT Dilemma: Understanding Why a ‘Model’ BIT may not be the Best Approach, by Nida Mahmood

Pakistan is on its way to develop its own ‘Model’ Bilateral Investment Treaty (BITs) as the standard international investment treaty to seek and attract more foreign investment.[1] Such ‘Model’ investment treaties usually contain blanket and comprehensive provisions to cater to the diverse relationships that a State may have with other potential capital exporting States and in this way, a standard-form contract-like treaty is perpetuated to achieve a harmony in terms of obligations that a State is prepared to undertake as regards investments to and from its territory.  Continue reading

Joint statement between the EU and Bangladesh after the deadly Savar factory collapse, by José Ángel Rueda

On 28 May 2013 EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni issued a joint statement[1] regarding the deadly collapse of a garment factory in Savar, near Dhaka, on 24 April 2013 where 1,129 people were killed and some 2,500 were injured.[2] The message is crystal clear for both exporters and importers of garment products manufactured in Bangladesh in particular and in developing countries in general:

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Japan’s favourable stance towards FTAs and treaty succession, by José Ángel Rueda

March 2013 will be remembered as a month in which relevant FTA negotiations were launched or reinforced by accessions of powerful States.[1] One of the most prominent actors in this period has no doubt been Japan as in just a couple of weeks it decided to join[2] existing FTA talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)[3] and launch FTA negotiations with the European Union (EU).[4]  Continue reading

Latest remarks on EU’s FTA and foreign investment plans with developing countries in Asia, by José Ángel Rueda

The EU has been very active in the promotion of free trade and investment during the last two weeks.[1] Morocco, Peru, Ukraine or the United States of America have become or will become EU partners in those fields in the near future.

Now we would like to complete the scenario by pointing out the latest developments of EU initiatives with a further two developing countries: Myanmar and Vietnam.  Continue reading

Germany-Philippines relations not affected by Fraport case, by José Ángel Rueda

Official statements and news reports published during the last five days indicate that Germany reaffirms that the so-called Fraport case is not an obstacle for the deepening of trade and investment relations with the Philippines.

Such conclusion is the outcome of the official visit that German Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle paid to the Philippines on 7-8 February 2013 where he met President Benigno Aquino and Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario.[1]

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Harmonisation of Chinese Legal Culture with English Common Law Principles through International Customary Law, By Mary B. AYAD*

Chinese legal culture is compatible with ancient and current English Common Law principles in applications of international customary law construction of contracts.  Proof of this is found in a recent Australian High Court decision on the Forrest Mining case[1]  which from the Australian perspective,[2] though vague on expounding the precise legal principles underpinning its reasons,[3] sets a sophisticated and pragmatic precedent in the topical matter of the constructions of cross-border commercial contracts, international sales contracts and investor—State contracts. Continue reading