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UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements
Full Report ( 108 Pages, 312.0 KB )


The paper is concerned with incentives (e.g. financial, fiscal and regulatory ones) as a policy instrument for attracting foreign direct investment and benefiting more from it.

The paper defines “investment incentives” and examines the key issues in the current policy debate on this topic:

  • the definition of “incentives”;
  • application of the non-discrimination principle to regulate incentives;
  • transparency in relation to incentives policies;
  • addressing incentives competition by limiting the lowering of regulatory standards or by establishing international control or consultation mechanisms; and
  • encouragement of development-oriented incentives on the part of host and home countries.

Finally, the paper examines the economic and development implications of incentives and presents options for dealing with this issue in international investment agreements (IIAs).


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