unctad.org | National Framework
National Framework
The regulatory framework for FDI in a country or economy consists of laws, regulations, official policy declarations and guidelines that are relevant to FDI and related fields. Naturally, the regulatory framework for FDI differs considerably among countries. Some countries have specific legal frameworks regulating FDI. Others, like the United States, have very few or no laws specifically dealing with FDI. Many developing countries regulate FDI explicitly by enacting investment codes, or by passing laws that deal with the establishment of public investment boards or similar institutions. Others have not enacted FDI-related legislation. Instead, they have enacted industry-specific laws which regulate FDI. Since investment flows are often concentrated in specific industries, the investment laws and regulations that cover these industries have been included in the table relating to the legal framework for TNCs, in addition to basic FDI laws when they were available.
In the country profiles prepared for this volume, the laws and regulations have been selected to cover, inter alia:
  • corporate law, including accounting and reporting regulations;
  • incentives for, and restrictions on, FDI;
  • Forms of establishment
  • mergers and acquisitions;
  • securities;
  • taxation (mainly corporate and individual income tax);
  • transfer of technology;
  • industrial/intellectual property;

Foreign exchange laws have been expressly omitted since this topic is fully covered in other specialized publication (See for example, International Monetary Fund, Yearbook on Foreign Exchange Regulations (Washington, D.C., International Monetary Fund, various issues). Similarly, customs law has also been omitted-in view of the space limitations-since, compared to the other areas mentioned, it bears only on one aspect of FDI.

To the extent available, the laws and regulations are listed in chronological sequence. They are not presented according to the subject matter of the instrument because the diversity and complexity of the national legal systems prevent such a classification. Laws and regulations that cover two or more legal areas are not unusual.

The citation of laws and regulations includes their title, year of enactment, date of enforcement and source. Where possible, the official source has been cited. In cases where the source is presented in a language other than English, French or Spanish, another source containing the English (official or unofficial) translation has sometimes been added. It should be mentioned, however, that due to considerable difficulties in tracing, updating and, last but not least, translating the relevant national legal instruments, the legal information presented in the individual country profiles compiled for this volume should be considered as a best-effort attempt to cover the vast area of FDI-related legislation in the region.


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