05 May 11 - Latest UNCTAD Investment Policy Monitor released
The publication reveals a continued dichotomy between liberalization and regulation in investment policymaking worldwide.
Continued investment policy liberalization, particularly in Asia, is taking place despite a number of investment regulations being adopted for national interests including national security purposes.
This trend is reported by UNCTAD's fifth Investment Policy Monitor, a regular publication that provides country-specific, up-to-date information about the latest developments in foreign investment policies, both at the national and international levels.
During the period under review (15 January 2011 to 15 April 2011), at least 32 economies introduced new national investment policy measures. At the international level, 42 economies concluded 31 new international investment agreements (IIAs), including 16 double taxation treaties (DTTs), ten bilateral investment treaties (BIT), and five "other IIAs".
In line with earlier reports, this instalment of the Monitor finds that most measures aim at improving investment conditions and fall into the categories of entry regulations, and promotion and facilitation measures. Particularly countries in Asia eased both general and sector-specific entry conditions for foreign investment. At the same time, however, there were a number of investment regulations or restrictions for national interest including national security purposes.
This dichotomy of policy trends continues at the international level as well. While countries keep negotiating IIAs, some are responding to the challenges posed by the IIA regime. An example is Australia's announcement that it would refrain from including investor-State dispute settlement into its future IIAs. Notable is also the European Parliament's Resolution suggesting that future European Union's IIAs protect the right to regulate and include social and environmental standards.