Publications and Events

Recent Publications

Foreign Direct Investment in LDCs: Lessons Learned from the Decade 2001-2010 and the Way Forward
UNCTAD, April 2011
This report, prepared in preparation of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, gives a broad overview of the FDI trends in LDCs over the past decade. The study is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the analysis of the trends in FDI flows and stock in LDCs, as well as policy developments concerning FDI at the national and international levels over the last decade. By detailing FDI trends by industry and country of origin, and by mode of entry, and examining the impacts of FDI on LDC economies since the last conference, the study draws observations and highlights some shortcomings from the past decade (2001-2010). A plan of action to increase FDI and enhance its development impact in the next decade is suggested. The second part of the study presents 48 individual country profiles that provide comprehensive data and information on FDI. The report is available at: http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/diaeia2011d1_en.pdf

The Evolving International Investment Regime: Expectations, Realities and Options
edited by Jose E. Alvarez and Karl P. Sauvant with Kamil Gerard Ahmed and Gabriela P. Vizcaino, Oxford University Press, March 2011
This volume looks at how these bilateral and regional investment protection treaties and investor-state arbitrations that apply them accommodate the different expectations of various stockholders, including governments, foreign investors and civil society.  The volume’s diverse authors focus especially on the views of developing countries and international civil society.  They address the extent to which the regime is satisfying the expectations of those who originally drafted the treaties as well as the states now at the losing end of investor-state awards.  They review critiques of the regime that help explain sovereign and political backlash, identify avenues for accommodating various interests, and make specific proposals to address concrete challenges.  The volume should interest academics, practitioners, negotiators of international investment agreements, and others who want to know more about the rules that govern foreign direct investment, the activities of multinational enterprises, and those who seek to advance sustainable economic development through both. Information on how to order the book is available at: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Law/?view=usa&ci=9780199793624

Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa
Oakland Institute, June 2011
New series of reports from the Oakland Institute adds to the recent wave of criticisms aim at so-called land grabs. The reports charge that hedge funds and other foreign speculators are increasing price volatility and supply insecurity in the global food system. The reports are based on the actual materials from these land deals and include investigation of investors, purchase contracts, business plans and maps never released before now. The series examines on-the-ground implications in several African nations including Ethiopia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Sudan – and exposes contracts that connect land grabs back to institutional investors in these nations and others. In addition to publicly sharing – for the first time – the paperwork behind these deals, the reports demonstrate how common land grabs are and how quickly this phenomenon is taking place. Investors in these deals include not only alternative investment firms like Emergent Asset Management – that works to attract speculators, but also universities including Harvard, Spellman and Vanderbilt. In 2009 alone nearly 60 million hectares – an area the size of France – was purchased or leased in these land grabs, according to the Oakland Institute. Most of these deals are characterized by a lack of transparency, despite the profound implications posed by the consolidation of control over global food markets and agricultural resources by financial firms. These reports, as well as briefs on other aspects of land grabs, are available at http://media.oaklandinstitute.org.

Law and Power in Foreign Investment in Africa: Shades of Grey in the Shadow of the Law (Routledge Research in International Economic Law
Lorenzo Cotula, Routledge, (Forthcoming)
This book explores how the law protects the different and competing interests that are brought into contact by foreign investment projects in Africa. It draws on international investment and human rights law, on the national law of selected jurisdictions and on the contracts concluded for a large investment project to consider the legal frameworks regulating the growing investment flows to Africa. The book relates the findings of this legal analysis to an analysis of negotiating power between different holders of legally protected rights (investors, local people affected by the investment), exploring whether any differences in legal protection tend to counter, or reinforce, asymmetries in negotiating power. The outcome is a thorough legal analysis that is directly anchored to social processes and that provides insights into the relationship between law and power in a globalised world.

Events

2011

July

26
Launch of the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2011, http://www.unctad.org/Templates/Meeting.asp?intItemID=2068&lang=1&m=21579&year=2011&month=6

September

6
UNCTAD Launch of the Trade and Development Report 2011, http://www.unctad.org/Templates/Meeting.asp?intItemID=2068&lang=1&m=21540&year=2011&month=6

9 September – 9 October
World Trade Forum 2011: “New Directions & Emerging Challenges in International Investment Law and Policy”, Bern, Switzerland, http://www.wti.org/

October

3-7
UNCITRAL Working Group II, 2000 to present: Arbitration and Conciliation, 54th session, New York, http://www.uncitral.org/uncitral/en/index.html

17-19
The Fifth Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, Kampala, Uganda, investmentlaw@iisd.org

26-27
Sixth Columbia International Investment Conference: The Resource Boom and FDI in Africa,
Faculty House, Columbia University, New York, http://www.vcc.columbia.edu/content/sixth-columbia-international-investment-conference-resource-boom-and-fdi-africa 

November

4-6
2011 Foreign Direct Investment International Moot Competition, London, United Kingdom, www.fdimoot.org/2011/

8
Sixth Annual Lecture on International Commercial Arbitration, Washington D.C., United States, http://www.wcl.american.edu/arbitration/annuallecture.cfm

16
 Salient Issues in International Commercial Arbitration, Washington D.C., United States, www.wcl.american.edu/arbitration