Research and Policy Analysis

Among other activities, the IIA Section:

  • Collects data on International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases
  • Monitors trends in international investment policymaking
  • Identifies and highlights key emerging issues


International Investment Agreements

The year 2015 saw the conclusion of 31 new IIAs - 20 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and 11 treaties with investment provisions (TIPs), bringing the IIA universe to 3,304 agreements (2,946 BITs and 358 TIPs) by year-end.

Chapter III of the World Investment Report 2016 contains a detailed analysis and further data on IIAs.

Trends in IIA signed, 1980-2015
Source: ©UNCTAD, IIA Navigator


Investment Dispute Settlement

In 2015, investors initiated 70 known ISDS cases pursuant to IIAs, which is the highest number of cases ever filed in a single year. As arbitrations can be kept confidential under certain circumstances, the actual number of disputes filed for this and previous years is likely to be higher. As of 1 January 2016, the total number of publicly known ISDS claims had reached 696. So far, 107 countries have been respondents to one or more known ISDS claims.

A more detailed analysis of the latest trends in ISDS can be found in Chapter III of the World Investment Report 2016 and the IIA Issues Note "Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Review of Developments in 2015".

Known ISDS cases, 1987-2015
Source: ©UNCTAD, ISDS Navigator



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