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  • 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: John Gaffney, James Nicholson
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • 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, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Governance, Reform
  • Author: Rafael Tamayo-Álvarez, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, Juan David Rodriguez-Rios
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • 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 IIAs to strengthen the protection of labor rights, "the social component [...] embedded in the notion of sustainable development."
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Author: Anna De Luca
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • 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.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Lise Johnson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • 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.
  • Topic: International Law, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Wenhua Shan, Lu Wang
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Since China and the European Union (EU) announced their decision to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) at the 14th China-EU Summit in February 2012, the two sides have engaged in two rounds of negotiations. If successful, it will be the first standalone EU BIT, a BIT between the world's largest developed economy and the world's largest developing economy, and will occupy a unique place in the history of BIT negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • 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
  • Author: Louis Brennan, Rakhi Verma
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Despite the global financial and economic crises and a sharp downturn in the domestic economy between 2008 and 2009, Ireland managed to attract large inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2010. Inward FDI (IFDI) flows in 2010 were at a similar level to those in 2009, the second highest in Ireland's FDI history. However in 2011, there was a decline in such flows. While Ireland's economy has been greatly affected by the global crisis, Irish government initiatives have further fostered the country's attractiveness as an investment location for the world's firms. All indications are that Ireland's IFDI performance will continue to surpass that of most countries into the near future.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ireland