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

In 2016, countries concluded 37 new IIAs: 30 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and 7 treaties with investment provisions (TIPs). This brought the size of the IIA universe to 3,324 agreements (2,957 BITs and 367 TIPs) by year-end.

Chapter III of the World Investment Report 2017 contains a detailed analysis and further data on IIAs.


Trends in IIA signed, 1980-2016
Trends in IIAs 
Source: ©UNCTAD, IIA Navigator


Investment Dispute Settlement

In 2016, investors initiated 62 known ISDS cases pursuant to IIAs. This number is lower than the 74 initiated in the preceding year, but higher than the 10-year average of 49 cases per year (2006-2015). As of 1 January 2017, the total number of publicly known ISDS claims had reached 767. So far, 109 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 2017 and the IIA Issues Note "Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Review of Developments in 2016".


Trends in known treaty-based ISDS cases, 1987-2016
ISDS Cases 
Source: ©UNCTAD, ISDS Navigator

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