The December issue of the Just Investment newsletter focuses on an important trade policy reversal in South Africa. The government there is terminating bilateral investment treaties with 10 European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. As Fiona Dove, director of Transnational Insttute, explains:
In 2007-2010, SA undertook an extensive, multistakeholder review of its 19 BITs, and found their added value was limited. SA does not receive significant foreign investment from many of its BITs, but it receives significant investments from countries with which it does not have BITs. The review concluded the BIT framework for investment protection poses a growing risk to policy making in the public interest. It raised the issue of the ambiguities in many BITs and the inconsistency in awards granted by arbitration panels.
Dove’s article, along with many others on the South African investment review, are available here. This month’s edition of the Just Investment newsletter also reports on a new Alternative Trade Mandate produced and endorsed by 50 EU civil society organizations and launched at the end of November.