UCTSD: Promoting sustainable and socially responsible investment through regional trade agreements




February 16 | 

The study of investment provisions in regional trade agreements reveals a gradual shift from protecting foreign investments to providing states with ampler regulatory space in the pursuit of sustainable development objectives.

Since the very emergence of investment treaties in the 1950-60s, these instruments have traditionally aimed at providing guarantees to foreign investors regarding the stability and predictability of a host state’s investment framework. Conceived as a vehicle for both protecting and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), the conventional purpose of investment treaties has therefore been to prevent the abuse of state sovereignty, often without according due consideration to the development dimensions of state measures.

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