Asia's Changing International Investment Regime: Sustainability, Regionalization and Arbitration – Review Essay
University of Western Australia Law Review, Volume 44(2), 2018 Forthcoming
13 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2018 Last revised: 5 Sep 2018
Date Written: June 6, 2018
Our detailed review explains how this 14-chapter book (published in late 2017) provides a succinct and quite comprehensive overview, as well as some detailed analysis, of key developments and themes in the rapidly evolving field of Asia-Pacific international investment treaties. Although the book’s title refers to “Asia”, several chapters refer to foreign direct investment (FDI) and treaties extending around the Pacific Rim, as well as some developments in Central Asia (a rather different sub-region to East or even South Asia). The editors explain that their book aims “to help predict the future regulatory framework in the region, and how the regional trends affect the development of global rules for foreign investment". Part I sets the scene by outlining “regional trends in an evolving global landscape”, including a growing concern about rebalancing FDI and treaties to promote sustainable patterns. Part II focuses on the “regionalization of investment law and policy”, especially key intra-regional treaties concluded recently or under negotiation. Part III ends by asking whether we will see a trend “towards a greater practice of investment arbitration in the Asia-Pacific?”. The backdrop is that treaties and FDI flows are triggering somewhat belated, but nonetheless sometimes controversial, increases in both inbound and outbound investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims involving Asian states or investors. Our review teases out extra points of intersection among various chapters, as well as updating for new developments. For example, our Table 1 reclassifies categories ISDS claims by sub-sector, while Table 2 looks at the arbitration forum selected by investors, in world-wide treaty-based ISDS claims completed by the end of 2017. We conclude that the book is definitely worth a closer read, and is usefully complemented by International Investment Treaties and Arbitration Across Asia (also co-edited by Julien Chaisse, published by Brill in January 2018).
Keywords: foreign direct investment (FDI), dispute resolution, Asian law, international law, free trade agreements (FTAs), bilateral investment treaties (BITs), investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), arbitration
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation