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  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This brief, reviews recent international gas developments, the outlook in this regard and implications for the development of proposed offshore gas projects in Tanzania. As the country aims to benefit from its gas discoveries by increasing its domestic gas use, it also outlines some of the trade-offs and considerations that need to be taken into account when negotiating the domestic gas allocation.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Tanzania
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The message is by now clear: our global economy must be fundamentally reoriented and redeployed in order to achieve the SDGs and the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. This requires action by all stakeholders, including non-financial and financial firms, debt and equity investors, government policymakers, and consumers. In terms of the amount of money required, it has been estimated that meeting the SDGs will require $5 to $7 trillion annually, with investment needs for developing countries amounting to roughly $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year. While a big picture view of and strategic thinking regarding the entire economic ecosystem is necessary to generate such investments, this paper, produced in conjunction with the UN Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, focuses on the actual and potential role of one type of financial flow—FDI—in achieving the transition to a low-carbon, just and sustainable world and, more specifically, FDI flows into developing countries.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in the country, or the shares of the holding company are sold, instead of the asset.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Howard Mann, Karl Sauvant
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Based on a review of 150 instruments, ranging from international investment agreements to codes of multinational enterprises, this paper identifies ten core characteristics of sustainable FDI and twenty emerging sustainable FDI characteristics widely accepted across ten stakeholder groups. The paper explores furthermore opportunities and mechanisms to advance the application of the sustainability characteristics. The FDI sustainability characteristics are also of immediate relevance for the discussions of investment facilitation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Agricultural investment contracts and forestry projects can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. To assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on OpenLandContracts.org, CCSI has developed a Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects. This Guide, prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, aims to assist OpenLandContracts.org users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific provisions across a range of stakeholder interests.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Landpower
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This paper explores both the role that local content measures can play in advancing sustainable development, and the impact that trade and investment treaties concluded over the past 20 years have had and will continue to have on the ability of governments to employ those tools. Certain local content measures had been restricted under the WTO due to wide agreement by negotiating parties that their costs outweigh their benefits. But the WTO also left a number of local content measures in governments’ policy toolboxes. As is discussed in this paper, however, that is changing, with the range of permissible actions for many countries being significantly smaller than it was even a decade ago. This narrowed policy space, in turn, can limit the steps governments can take to make progress on the universally adopted Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Employment creation is often seen as a key benefit of investment in natural resources. However, this benefit sometimes falls short: job estimates may be inflated, governmental policies may fail to maximize employment generation, and, in some cases, investments may lead to net livelihood losses. A more thorough examination of employment tied to mining and agricultural investments is thus useful for assessing whether and how employment from natural resource investments contributes to sustainable economic development—a particularly timely topic as countries consider how they will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Affairs, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: CCSI has been working with the World Economic Forum, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to create a shared understanding of how the mining industry can most effectively contribute to the SDGs. The report will help mining companies navigate where their activities – from exploration, through operations and mine closure – can help the world achieve the SDGs. Governments, civil society and other stakeholders can also identify opportunities for shared action and partnership with the industry.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: CCSI developed A Policy Framework to Approach the Use of Associated Petroleum Gas. Associated Petroleum Gas (APG) is a form of natural gas that is found associated with petroleum fields. APG is often flared or vented for regulatory, economic or technical reasons. The flaring, however, is problematic from health and environmental perspectives. Moreover, flaring and venting APG wastes a valuable non-renewable resource that could be re-injected into the oil field or used for local and regional electricity generation. This framework aims at providing guidance for regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders seeking to develop practical approaches to unlock the economic value of APG.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Louis Brennan
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: As the motives driving China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) have expanded from resource - seeking to asset - and market - seeking, Chinese FDI in Europe has grown rapidly. Although Europe, with its advanced technologies and know - how, brands and sophisticated markets, represents an attractive destination for asset - seeking and market - seeking Chinese FDI, it has also posed challenges for Chinese investors. They arise for a number of reasons: the divergent characteristics of the host region, home country liability of origin, as well as China’s OFDI regulation and the capabilities of the investing enterprises.
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Sophie Nappert
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In her Perspective, Lise Johnson takes a strong stance in favor of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (“Rules”). The Rules apply in UNCITRAL proceedings, and may be adopted in non-UNCITRAL proceedings, under future investment treaties. Since coming into force in April 2014, the Rules have been welcomed as a ground-breaking, positive development.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Author: Axel Berger, Lauge N. kovgaard Poulsen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The prospect of including investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has produced a polarizing debate in the Europe an Union (EU). Critics have argued that this adjudication mechanism is unnecessary in TTIP as United States (US) investors can expect fair treatment in EU courts and vice versa.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Ilan Strauss, Ralf Krüger
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Over the last decade Africa has attracted an increasing share of global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. China and other emerging markets are usually highlighted as important sources of this increase — and they are. However, perhaps the most significant contributor has been Africa itself.
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Steven Globerman
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The growth of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), particularly from China, has generated substantial controversy about whether government - controlled or state - influenced foreign investors should be treated differently than other foreign investors by host country governments. Indeed, several developed country governments impose special review procedures on OFDI undertaken by state - owned enterprises (SOEs). For example, in 2012 the Canadian government announced that takeovers of domestic companies by foreign SOEs would face “strengthened scrutiny,” permitting them only in “exceptional circumstances.”
  • Author: Peter Nunnenkamp, Wan-Hsin Liu, Frank Bickenbach
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: P. Chidambaram, India's Minister of Finance, claimed that "FDI worked wonders in China and can do so in India." However, China's example may also point to the limitations of foreign direct investment (FDI) liberalization in promoting the host country's economic development. FDI in China is heavily concentrated in the coastal areas, and previous studies have suggested that this has contributed to the increasing disparity in regional income and growth since the late 1970s.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India
  • Author: Rudolf Adlung
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: A number of recent studies have discussed the implications of most-favored-nation (MFN) clauses in bilateral investment treaties (BIT s) and the possible need for, and role of, a multilateral framework for investment. Surprisingly, the relevance of existing multilateral disciplines, in particular under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), is seldom acknowledged in this context.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer, Sherry Stephenson
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In Columbia FDI Perspectives, No. 102, Axel Berger claimed that the debate over a multilateral framework for investment is futile. We disagree. Following its achievements at the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, the World Trade Organization (WTO) should launch negotiations to draft a 21st century Investment Framework Agreement (IFA).
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Joachim Karl
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In his famous book, "The End of History and the Last Man", published in 1992, Francis Fukuyama argued that Western democracy represents the end point of the socio-cultural evolution of humanity and the final form of government.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: France
  • Author: Anthea Roberts
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: There have been many calls for a rebalancing of investor protection and state sovereignty in the investment treaty system. However, another equally important shift is underway: the recalibration of interpretive authority between treaty parties and arbitral tribunals. In newer-style investment treaties, states are increasingly protecting and enhancing their role in interpreting and applying their treaties.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Sheng Zhang
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The China-US bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiations have attracted attention due to the relative size and weight of both economies. Despite broad consensus about the importance of such a treaty, there is considerable debate about its shape and content. The debate is reflected in two recent Columbia FDI Perspectives. Donnelly argued that a China-US BIT should be modeled on the US Model BIT without "splitting the difference between Chinese and US positions", and that the possibility of meaningful BIT negotiations are "really up to China at this point".
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Colombia