The Case of China - Chapter 14 - Investor-State Arbitration--Lessons for Asia
Originally from Investor-State Arbitration--Lessons for Asia
China has been in recent years a hot destruction for foreign investment. Up to October 2007, US$739 billions from more than 100 countries were actually invested in China. The contracted amount is much bigger. There are 625,000 enterprises with foreign investment in China, which play an important role in China’s economic and trade growth, employment and government tax revenue. In 2007 alone there was US$74.7 billions of foreign investment in China, taking the first place in the past consecutive 15 years among the developing countries. China’s offshore investment has also been rapidly increasing in the past few years, ranking as the 13th country in the world for offshore investment in 2007.
China started to conclude agreements on mutual protection of investment with foreign countries in the 1980’s. The first one was the agreement concluded between China and the Kingdom of Sweden on March 29, 1982. Up to the year of 2007 China has concluded 122 BITs with foreign countries. The main purpose to conclude such international treaties was to attract more foreign investment into China for the urgent need in its economic development inspired by the economic reform and open door policies. When we see why there is so much foreign investment in China one of the reasons, among others, is because of the fact that China has in the past 30 years consistently been attaching great importance to the protection of foreign investment through domestic legislation and concluding investment protection treaties (BITs) with foreign countries, which have provided a solid legal base for the protection of foreign investors’ rights and interests.