Eighth Report on G20 Investment Measures

At their Summits in London, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Seoul, Cannes and Los Cabos, G20 Leaders committed to resisting protectionism in all its forms and asked the WTO, OECD, and UNCTAD to continue to monitor trade and investment policy measures. The present document is the eighth report on investment and investment-related measures made in response to this mandate.2 It has been prepared jointly by the OECD and UNCTAD Secretariats and covers investment policy and investment-related measures taken between 4 May 2012 and 5 October 2012.

On the whole, G20 members have continued to honour their pledge not to introduce new restrictive measures. G20 members adopted few new investment policy measures during the reporting period and almost all tended to eliminate restrictions to, and to facilitate, foreign investment.

Despite this encouraging finding, persistent high unemployment, turbulence in financial markets and a weak economic recovery put intense pressure on governments to grant assistance to individual domestic companies and to preserve jobs. As a result, governments may resort to policies or practices that discriminate against foreign investors or discourage outward investment. Governments may also be tempted to yield to such pressure in informal and diffuse ways that are not manifested as policy changes, thereby undermining all the more investors’ trust in predictable and transparent frameworks in host countries.

Following the call by G20 Leaders at their Los Cabos Summit, both the OECD and UNCTAD are committed to reinforcing and deepening their work towards enhancing investment policies through monitoring of policy developments.