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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
  • Author: Rainer Geiger
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Launched in July 2013 by the European Union and the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) represents an important effort to reach a comprehensive economic agreement between two major trading partners. As has been pointed out, the project offers great opportunities for liberalizing trade and investment and regulatory convergence. Its level of ambition implies high risks, but despite negotiators' initial optimism, its success is far from certain. This Perspective focuses on the project's investment chapter, drawing lessons from the failed negotiations on a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), which was meant to consolidate the results of liberalization in the OECD area, establish new disciplines and introduce protection and dispute settlement.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Nathan M. Jensen, Jeremy Caddel
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Foreign direct investors increasingly use investment dispute-settlement mechanisms to resolve investment disputes and reduce political risk. Using data from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the major forum of international investment arbitration, we cataloged the government actors involved in disputes and the actions that led to arbitration. Existing case-based studies of investment arbitration have provided general inferences about the actors involved, but we contribute to the literature in political science and economics by systematically documenting these patterns of behavior.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance
  • Author: Karl P. Sauvant, Victor Z. Chen
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: China's rising outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) faces rising skepticism abroad. This is partly the result of the leading role of state-owned enterprises in her OFDI (and the fear that it serves non-commercial purposes), the speed with which this investment has grown, the negative image of the home country in some quarters, and the challenges it poses to established competitors. Moreover, Chinese multinational enterprises (MNEs) may not always keep in mind that host countries see FDI as a tool to advance their own development and hence seek maximum benefits from it.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Miguel Pérez Ludeña
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Multinational enterprises (MNEs) multiplied their profits made in developing countries by four between 2002 and 2011 (at current prices). In Latin America and the Caribbean, they rose from US$20 billion in 2002 to US$113 billion in 2011. The growth rate has been even higher in Africa and China, but much lower in developed countries. This rise is explained by an increase in FDI stock in developing economies and the higher average profitability of MNEs.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Latin America
  • Author: Louis T. Wells
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: A recent Perspective concluded that, in countries given to sudden shifts in policy, "a host country government equity stake in a project may decrease project risk by giving the state a reason not to demand a renegotiation." An investor may benefit, but does the host country? In my experience, rarely.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Rainer Geiger
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Launched in July 2013 by the European Union and the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) represents an important effort to reach a comprehensive economic agreement between two major trading partners. As has been pointed out, the project offers great opportunities for liberalizing trade and investment and regulatory convergence. Its level of ambition implies high risks, but despite negotiators' initial optimism, its success is far from certain.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: John Gaffney, James Nicholson
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In their contribution to the FDI Perspectives series, Baiju Vasani and Anastasiya Ugale drew attention to an emerging trend in favor of the so-called "costs follow the event" (CFtE) (or loser pays) approach, which is in contrast to the more "traditional" approach under which parties share the costs of arbitration equally, with each party covering its own legal fees.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Investments in the extractive industries and large-scale land-based investments in forestry and agriculture present similar opportunities for host governments to accelerate sustainable development, as well as comparable challenges to ensure that such investments do not serve as a source of corruption, rights abuses, or environmental degradation. In response to the challenges associated with ensuring successful and inclusive results from such large-scale investments, an increasing number of initiatives have sought to increase good governance over these types of investments. Yet, despite some perceived commonalities between the sectors, the good governance initiatives in respect of extractive industry investments and land-based (forestry or agriculture) investments are often distinct and sector-specific, with few attempts being made to examine how lessons learned from one sector could be applied to the other.
  • Author: Dylan G. Rassier
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Economic accountants, who are responsible for measuring gross domestic product (GDP), and tax authorities, which are responsible for collecting tax revenues, face similar challenges with respect to multinational enterprises (MNEs): economic accountants want to know where within an MNE production is taking place and, thus, where to attribute GDP; tax authorities want to know where income from production is earned. Current global guidance on economic accounting and international taxation generally require transactions within MNEs to be recognized at market (or “arm's length”) values as if the transactions are taking place among unrelated entities. However, the values of transactions within MNEs may not reflect economic reality because related entities may exchange unique products with no active markets, and because MNEs may be structured with one or more entities that exist for purposes other than production. As a result, transactions within MNEs may distort economic accounting statistics and tax revenues.
  • Author: Gus Van Harten
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The Canada - China bilateral investment treaty (BIT) – ratified by Canada on September 12, 2014, after a two - year delay following its signature in 2012 – provides a useful reference for future investment negotiations involving Canada or China and other countries.
  • Political Geography: China, Canada
  • Author: Stephen M. Schwebel
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The creation of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is the boldest step in the modern history of international cooperation on the protection of foreign investment. I t has furthered the flourishing of arbitration between investors and states, itself one of the most progressive developments in international law of the past sixty years. Since Germany concluded the first bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Pakistan in 1959, some 3,000 BITs have been concluded. Yet, there are reports that the European Union (EU), led by Germany, may exclude investor - state arbitration from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States (US), impairing the ubiquity of investor - state arbitration.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Germany
  • Author: Roel Nieuwenkamp Kimmo Sinivuori
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: As the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, first adopted in 1976 and updated for the fifth time in 2011, are approaching middle age, it is appropriate to reflect on how the use of the se far - reaching recommendations for responsible business conduct can be promoted in international investment agreements (IIAs). During the Guideline's almost four decades of existence, the landscape of the global economy has continuously evolved, and securing sustainable development has become a key international issue.
  • Author: Peter Nunnenkamp, Julian Donaubauer, Birgit Meyer
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: It is widely believed that a country's infrastructure is a critical factor in sustaining economic growth, promoting trade and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). However, better data are required to assess the links between infrastructure, FDI and economic development. The available measures are either restricted to specific aspects of economic infrastructure, or they cover only a limited number of countries over a short period of time.
  • Author: Ralph Alexander Lorz
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) could become the most comprehensive international agreement on free trade and investment protection. The negotiations have mostly been met with the usual criticism that accompanies attempts to expand free trade, despite overwhelming evidence that free trade fosters global economic development.
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany
  • Author: Kenneth P. Thomas
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: As I discussed in an earlier Perspective, the use of investment incentives is pervasive and growing. The most recent example of a big bidding war was when Boeing threatened to move production of its 77 7 - X aircraft out of Washington state, prompting some 20 states to offer incentive packages to the company (including $1.7 billion from Missouri). In the end, Washington gave Boeing a package of tax incentives worth a record - breaking $8.7 billion over the 2 025 – 2040 period to stay, and the unions made substantial concessions regarding pensions.
  • Political Geography: Washington
  • Author: Catherine Kessedjian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: An OECD study shows that arbitration costs in investment disputes average US$ 8 million; in one case involving mass claims, the parties spent almost US$ 40 million in legal fees just to reach the decision on jurisdiction. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that third party funding has become the talk of the town.
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: <p>The Canada-China BIT could provide insight on the key issues to be discussed in a possible US-China BIT. A particularly controversial issue will be the terms of investor-state arbitration (ISA). But as ISA becomes increasingly controversial between developed democratic states, it may become harder to negotiate ISA with China.</p>
  • Author: Alisha Anderson, Alexandra Guisinger
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has emerged as a powerful actor within the field of inter-state investment arbitration. However, as with other international institutions, its existence depends on continued acceptance by domestic actors.
  • Author: Lise Johnson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In July 2013, after nearly three years of work, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted a set of arbitration rules that will help open some investor-state arbitrations to public view. The UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty - based Investor - State Arbitration (Transparency Rules) were crafted with input from governments, academics, arbitration practitioners, and non-governmental organizations, and approved by consensus by the member states. When applied, the Transparency Rules will require disclosure of information submitted to, and issued by, arbitral tribunals throughout proceedings, mandate open hearings and expressly allow for participation by non-parties to a dispute. The Transparency Rules also guard against disclosure of confidential information and establish a repository in which all information will be published.
  • Author: Anna De Luca
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Many governments offer incentives to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). For example, the renewable energy sector has benefitted from large national incentive schemes in the past decade. However, the withdrawal of such incentives can lead to investors bringing investment treaty claims against host countries. This Perspective looks at some claims host countries face from investors in the renewable energy sector and their implications.
  • Author: Rafael Tamayo-Álvarez, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, Juan David Rodriguez-Rios
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Free trade agreements (FTAs) and international investment agreements (IIAs) are regarded as instruments to promote world trade, investment flows and market liberalization. The question, however, is whether they promote sustainable development as well. This Perspective contemplates incorporating voluntary codes of conduct for multinational enterprises (MNEs) in IIA s to strengthen the protection of labor rights, “the social component [...] embedded in the notion of sustainable development.”
  • Author: John Gaffney, James Nicholson
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In their contribution to the FDI Perspectives series, Baiju Vasani and Anastasiya Ugale drew attention to an emerging trend in favor of the so-called “costs follow the event” (CFtE) (or loser pays) approach, which is in contrast to the more “traditional” approach under which parties share the costs of arbitration equally, with each party covering its own legal fees.
  • Author: Catharine Titi
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In July 2012, in an internal document, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade suggested that future EU investment agreement s (EUIAs) should incorporate regulatory flexibility in the same way in which EU free trade agreements (FTAs) safeguard parties' policy space. Since it is expected that a number of treaties on the EU's negotiating agenda will be concluded in the near future, and given the policy shift that has already taken place in Canada and the US, it is time to start thinking about a new balance in a move away from investment treaties' traditional laissez-faire liberalism toward WTO law's embedded liberalism, a model whereby liberalization is embedded within a wider framework that enables public regulation in the interest of domestic stability.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada
  • Author: Nicolle Graugnard
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Business needs a stable and predictable investment environment, especially in times of economic uncertainty, to continue to generate employment and create wealth. Although foreign direct investment (FDI) flows rose for two years after plummeting in the wake of the global financial crisis, they fell again by 18% to US$ 1.4 trillion in 2012. According to UNCTAD, the major factors contributing to this sharp decline were economic fragility and policy uncertainty in several economies. Moreover, investment regulations classified as “restrictive” rose to 25% in 2012, compared to just 6% in 2000; “liberalizing” regulations were 75 % of the total in 2012, compared to 94% in 2000. The result of these regulations is, therefore, not surprising: businesses are holding back on new investments, with multinational enterprises reporting record cash-holdings of between US$ 4 to 5 trillion.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance
  • Author: Axel Berger
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: One of the recurrent debates on international investment rule-making relates to the question whether it is possible to establish a multilateral framework for investment (MFI). Proponents argue that growing foreign direct investment (FDI) from emerging countries, especially China, contributes to a new consensus on global investment rules.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Karl P. Sauvant, Federico Ortino.
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Discussions on a multilateral investment framework have recently seen a revival, as the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and various authors have called for negotiations on this subject. A growing number of countries have been reviewing and adapting their international investment policies. This reflects dissatisfaction with the current international investment law regime, and a desire to improve it.
  • Topic: Economics, International Law, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Baiju S. Vasani, Anastasiya Ugale
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In 2006, the Thunderbird tribunal, operating under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, called for the harmonization of cost-allocation approaches in commercial and investment arbitration. Subsequent tribunals appear to be heeding Thunderbird's call paving a trend in favor of the so-called “costs follow the event” (CFtE) approach and its variations. Generally, this approach prescribes the shifting of arbitral costs and reasonable legal fees to the unsuccessful party (or based on parties' relative success) and has historically been prevalent in commercial arbitration. By contrast, the more traditional approach in investment arbitration has been to share the costs of arbitration equally, save for special circumstances, with each party covering its own legal fees (traditional approach). In the wake of what appears to be an emerging trend in favor of a default CFtE custom, it is time to revisit the idea of whet her a single harmonized approach to cost allocation is really appropriate. We suggest that it most likely is not.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Nicolle Graugnard
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Business needs a stable and predictable investment environment, especially in times of economic uncertainty, to continue to generate employment and create wealth. Although foreign direct investment (FDI) flows rose for two years after plummeting in the wake of the global financial crisis, they fell again by 18% to US$ 1.4 trillion in 2012. According to UNCTAD, the major factors contributing to this sharp decline were economic fragility and policy uncertainty in several economies. Moreover, investment regulations classified as “restrictive” rose to 25% in 2012, compared to just 6% in 2000; “liberalizing” regulations were 75% of the total in 2012, compared to 94% in 2000. The result of these regulations is, therefore, not surprising: businesses are holding back on new investments, with multinational enterprises reporting record cash-holdings of between US$ 4 to 5 trillion.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Author: Marino Baldi
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Traditional bilateral investment treaties (BITs) focus on investment protection, i.e., regulate post-establishment aspects of foreign investment. In recent times, investment agreements have increasingly been supplemented with liberalization rules and also clauses on, e.g., key personnel, labor rights and sustainable development. Such integrated investment accords have notably become part of preferential trade agreements (PTAs). This trend started with NAFTA, continued with the negotiations on a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), and has in the course of the past ten years increasingly characterized PTAs throughout the world. The rapid proliferation of PTAs has, in the investment field, unfortunately led to lower quality provisions. Many of these treaties contain such wide-ranging exceptions and vaguely formulated safeguard clauses that their regulatory value as regards the protection of foreign investments in their post-establishment phase is called into question.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Barclay E. James, Paul M. Vaaler.
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Business researchers, executives and regulators may assume that state ownership in firms raises risk for private co-investors. After all, private investors are seeking profits while states are seeking welfare. Giving them both equity only confuses the aims of an investment project, complicates the job of investment project managers and raises the overall risk of investment project failure. But these assumptions do not fit the evidence as demonstrated by a well-known risk indicator observable in hundreds of investment projects located in dozens o f countries: in countries where initial investment terms are more vulnerable to renegotiation by host country governments, we found that "minority rules" apply w hereby a non-controlling, but still substantial equity investment by a host country government can play a risk-mitigating role.
  • Topic: Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Ethiopia