Improving the International Law and Policy Regime

Despite the growing importance of FDI as a vehicle for economic growth and development and the complexity of issues surrounding its impact on host and home countries, there is no multilateral regime to govern international investment. Instead, international investment law has become increasingly complex. Multiple sources of law, a proliferation of bilateral investment agreements and an acceleration of investor-state disputes have contributed to this complexity; to this, discontent among various stakeholders about various aspects of the current regime needs to be added. As emerging markets play a more significant economic and political role on the world stage, is now the time to consider reforming the structure and content of international investment regulation, and, if so, what should that reform look like?

This project, commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, seeks to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the current international investment law and policy regime and outline options for improvement. Special attention will be given to the role of emerging markets. The resulting report (published in a revised version as a booklet) was the basis of a seminar of stakeholders in Helsinki during April 2013, to discuss the way forward. The Government of Finland is currently considering which next steps to take.