Signing international investment treaties, in the hope of attracting foreign investments, has been a central strategy for governments looking to improve economic development. The less known side of this story is that by signing investment treaties, governments are giving away the sovereign right to regulate in the interest of people and the environment. They also expose themselves to the risk of spending millions in law suits that could have been used to serve public needs. It’s time that the dark side of investment is put under the spotlight.
In November 2011, Brussels was the stage for a 'Week of Action' which looked to expose the threat of Bilateral Investment Treaties to democratic governance and public interest and to advocate for an Alternative Investment Regime.
Gus Van Harten discusses specific cases of investor-to-state arbitration to highlight what are the key problems with international investment treaties. How developing countries are being impacted by investment disputes and what the role is of lawyers and experts in promoting a growing international arbitration industry.
Between 20 and 21 September 2011, 40 ASEAN campaigners and experts met in Manila to share knowledge and experiences, articulate common strategies and discuss alternatives to the current investment regime.
One of the main lessons of the global economic crisis that has cast its shadow since 2008 is that this is the time to be diversifying trade away from over-reliance on EU markets. It is clear to all observers that the economic chaos engulfing the EU in its euro-zone heartlands shows no end in sight and the prospect of long- term stagnation is becoming ever more real.
In the midst of a raging famine in the Horn of Africa and continuing expansion of land grabbing across the Global South, a new and critical report has been released by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, of the Committee on World Food Security.
Whose interest does the ten-year Strategy document for Africa actually serve? The World Bank has shown little insight into the real problems Africa faces, focusing instead on ineffective policies, support for repressive regimes and projects that are known to have failed.