Public Policy versus Private Interest: Has Balance Been Maintained in Investment Protections in the Asia-Pacific Region? - Panel Discussion - Chapter 10 - Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law - Volume 4
Originally from Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law - Volume 4
MR. LAIRD: A few more people will probably wander in but I want to get going with the panel because we have another panel after this and we all want to make the trains run on time. Welcome back for our third panel today.
We have another very interesting discussion and issue for you, dealing more with substantive obligations and protections. We have gone from almost a high-level policy discussion about the treaties and issues relating to promotion, to more of a jurisdictional argument on the second panel this morning concerning MFN. Now we are going to talk about the balance that we see being sought in many of these investment treaties with regard to substantive obligations. We have an excellent panel here for you today. I want to turn it over to Daren Tang, who will be our moderator. Daren is a Deputy Senior State Counsel with the Attorney General's Chambers of Singapore. He has come all this way to give us the benefit of his wisdom. He has worked on many of these treaties and put a lot of thought into this area of the law and he's a real growing expert and friend of ours as well. I am very grateful for Daren coming today. He is going to take us through some very interesting papers and excellent panel. So I'll pass it over to you, Daren.
MR. TANG: Thanks, Ian. Ian's only nice to me because I congratulated him last night on the Canadian win over the U.S in the Olympics in hockey.
For the next one and half hours, we're going to direct our minds to a very interesting issue which is whether the right balance has been struck between investor's rights under various international investment agreements in the Asia-Pacific region and the rights of states to regulate commercial activity within its borders. The very notion of the word balance implies that it is a dynamic quality that it's not static.
While both Anne and Marguerite have tried very sportingly to answer this question in a fairly straightforward way to give a yes or no answer, having discussed this matter with fellow panelists, we think that it's probably more useful in the larger scheme of things for members of the audience and for all of us to think of it in terms of trends. What trends do we see, what trends have we seen and what trends do we see going ahead? What are the reasons for these trends in various parts and various regions of Asia-Pacific? For Asia-Pacific itself, we would like to take a very expansive view on it. It's not just my part of the world, Southeast Asia or Northeast Asia, it includes America, and it includes Latin America as well. If any of you have any experience and any thoughts on these parts of the world in the whole Pacific Rim, we ask you to share your thoughts about it and we welcome you to come and join in the discussion as well.