1. This case concerns a dispute submitted to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID” or the “Centre”) on the basis of the Agreement on Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the “BIT” or the “Treaty”), which entered into force on 1 May 2005, and the Arbitration Rules (Additional Facility) of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, which entered into force on 10 April 2006 (the “ICSID-AF Rules”). The dispute relates to actions by the Respondent the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, hereinafter referred to as the “Lao Government”, “Laos” or the “Respondent,” that allegedly deprived Claimant of part or all of its investment in the gaming and tourism industry in Lao PDR.
2. The Claimant, Lao Holdings N.V., is a company incorporated under the laws of Aruba, The Netherlands Antilles, and is hereinafter referred to as “Lao Holdings” or the “Claimant.” It is important to emphasize at the outset that the Claimant did not become an investor in Laos until 17 January 2012 (“the critical date”) at which time it took over ownership of Sanum Investments Ltd., a Macao company, whose principals are John Baldwin and Sean Scott, and which had been investing in Laos since 2007.
3. The present ruling concerns an objection by the Respondent to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal ratione temporis to hear and determine the Claimant’s assertion that by reason of the protection of the Treaty it is not subject to a New Tax Code enacted on 11 December 2011.
4. The Claimant and the Respondent are hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Parties.” Their respective representatives and addresses are listed on page (2).