All Clear on the Investment Front: A Plea for a Restatement
This chapter argues that the discussion on trade and investment will not take off unless we first put together all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. Both the discussion in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) suffer in this respect. Although the two negotiations were substantially different, neither of them adequately examined the incentive structure of the capital-importing countries. To do that, the first step should be a thorough inquiry not only into their motives for signing investment agreements, but for accepting a harmonized international regulatory framework. Instead of taking an affirmative response for granted, there are reasons to believe that the issue should be rather framed as a question: Do developing (capital-importing) countries benefit from a harmonized regime? The first section of the chapter provides a brief description of the attempts to multilateralize existing bilateral agreements on protection of investment. The second section moves to discuss what has not happened while attempting to multilateralize investment protection, and why it is crucial, assuming that there is willingness by stakeholders to enact such a framework. The last section concludes.
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