Reshaping the International Investment Regime: Lessons from Latin America?

Friday June 27th 2014

On 27 June GEG will host a private, high-level workshop on the future of the international investment regime. In recent years there has been a rapid increase in costly and far-reaching international investment treaty claims, including many targeting sensitive areas of public regulation. This in turn has sparked some governments around the world to re-think the institutional architecture underlying the international investment regime.

Latin America is at the forefront of this debate. Argentina has recently decided to settle many of its claims with foreign investors in the aftermath of its 2001 financial crisis, but its experience with the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) system raised questions about the legitimacy and effectiveness of the regime. Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela have all withdrawn from ICSID and instead supported a regional alternative dispute settlement system. With no ratified bilateral investment treaties, Brazil has always been the outlier in the international investment regime and recent work toward a radically novel type of investment agreement throws into doubt traditional understandings of what investment treaties should, and should not, do. Meanwhile Chile, Peru, and Mexico are negotiating a Transpacific Partnership Agreement, which is set to include traditional investment protection rights.

GEG has a continuing research project on international investment policymaking. This workshop will contribute to this research by bringing expert policymakers and scholars from Latin America to highlight and learn from the region's diverse set of experiences and policy responses. The workshop will explore new strategic choices for governments, examining the key challenges for developing and emerging economies in the international investment regime today and assessing what concrete steps could be taken to accommodate concerns about the legitimacy and efficiency of the regime.

*Please note this event is by invitation only. For further information of GEG’s work on investment, please contact*