Mongolia has recently passed a Law on Investment strengthening the rights of investors and increasing the certainty and predictability of its tax regulations. In addition, the Law creates a State Administrative Body in Charge of Investment Affairs (the “agency”) to promote investments and provide services to investors. The Law, which took effect on 1 November 2013 pursuant to its Article 24, is expected to increase foreign investment flows. Economic growth in Mongolia, which has a population of less than 3 million people, is mainly driven by its copper and coal resources, making investment a top priority for its government. Continue reading »
On 4 October 2013, ICSID dispatched the arbitral tribunal’s award in Metal-Tech Ltd v the Republic of Uzbekistan. The tribunal declined jurisdiction after finding that corruption had been established “to an extent sufficient to violate Uzbekistan law in connection with the establishment of the Claimant’s investment in Uzbekistan.” Continue reading »
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. Continue reading »
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. 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 »
On 23 May 2013 the European Commission decided to ask EU Member States for their agreement on a mandate to open negotiations on an investment agreement with China. As the Commission has underlined, “this is the first ever proposal for a stand-alone investment agreement since foreign direct investment became the exclusive competence of the EU under the Lisbon Treaty” on 1 December 2009.
On 30 April 2013 Saudi Arabia and Japan signed an Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investment (BIT) within the framework of the official visit paid by Mr. Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, to Saudi Arabia.
March 2013 will be remembered as a month in which relevant FTA negotiations were launched or reinforced by accessions of powerful States. 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 existing FTA talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and launch FTA negotiations with the European Union (EU). Continue reading »
The EU has been very active in the promotion of free trade and investment during the last two weeks. 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 »
The EU seems to be definitely committed to promoting worldwide free trade (and foreign direct investment) as a means to overcome the current economic crisis. Continue reading »
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.
The dispute resolution provision contained in a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BITs) that commonly provides for investor-State dispute resolution in a foreign arbitral forum is perhaps the single most influential reason and incentive for States to negotiate BITs with other States. This is because foreign arbitral forums are perceived to be transparent, neutral, independent, and cost effective mechanisms for settlement of those disputes that commonly are between one State and the investors of another State, in which case, the national/local courts just may have an ‘inherent national prejudice’. Continue reading »
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 which from the Australian perspective, though vague on expounding the precise legal principles underpinning its reasons, 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 »
The Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) are international agreements between states inter se that commonly provide for a framework in which investment from one state (home state) is to be received and managed within the other state (host state). They typically impose obligations on the host states to provide for the basic standards of treatment and investment protection as enunciated in customary international law, including the Most Favored Nation Treatment, National Treatment and the Fair and Equitable Standard of Treatment. Continue reading »