IIA Issues Note: Towards a New Generation of International Investment Policies

Recent changes in the global political and economic environment, including a series of crises in finance, food security and the environment, are leading to a new generation of foreign investment policies that place inclusive growth and sustainable development at the heart of efforts to attract and benefit from investment. On the international plan, made up of nearly 3,200 international investment agreements (IIAs), the pressing policy challenges include:

  • strengthening the development dimension of the investment policy regime
  • ensuring sufficient policy space for host countries by balancing public and private interests
  • addressing serious deficiencies of the current system of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS)
  • resolving issues stemming from the increasing complexity of the international investment policy regime
  • these challenges would be best solved through coordinated efforts.

This note (A) provides an overview of the relevant changes in the economic and policy environment; (B) discusses the key trends and pressing challenges in international investment policy making; and (C) puts forward the idea of multilateral consensus-building as a way to deal with existing challenges and sets out some considerations with regard to this process.