How Would a Future WTO Agreement on Investment Facilitation for Development Encourage Sustainable FDI Flows, and How Could it Be Further Strengthened? - Chapter 2 - Pro-Arbitration Revisited: A Tribute to Professor George Bermann from his Students Over the Years
In 2015, a multi-stakeholder E15 Task Force on Investment Policy proposed that a “Sustainable Investment Facilitation Understanding” be negotiated. It was meant to be an instrument “entirely technical in nature, focusing on practical actions to encourage sustainable investment flows to developing countries”. The proposal was supported by the members of the Task Force, which included the heads of the investment work at the OECD, UNCTAD, the World Bank Group, and the WTO Secretariat. As part of the follow-up, the E15 report was presented in the WTO Secretariat and to the OECD Investment Committee.
The idea was that such an agreement would help meet future investment needs (especially in developing countries) by facilitating not only the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in general, but especially the flow of sustainable FDI, through actions taken by host countries, home countries and multinational enterprises (MNEs). In a world of global value chains, an investment facilitation agreement would complement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement; it would provide a benchmark for good practices for countries to follow and a reference point and commitment device for domestic FDI-competent institutions seeking to reform their FDI regulatory framework; and it would contain international technical assistance and capacity building commitments to help developing countries implement such reforms.