IIAs covering services FDI are proliferating at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. The resulting network of international rules on FDI in services is multifaceted, multilayered and constantly evolving, with obligations differing in geographical scope and substantive coverage. These rules are increasingly setting the parameters for national policies in the services sector.
Services IIAs can offer a series of potential benefits. They can provide a stable, predictable and transparent enabling framework for attracting investment and benefiting from it. At the same time, the optimal realization of these potential benefits remains a challenge. Specifically, the challenge is to strike a balance between using IIAs for attracting FDI and benefiting from it on one hand, and preserving the flexibility needed for the pursuit of national development strategies in the services sector on the other.