published on T20 Argentina 2018
It is of paramount importance that the G20 pay attention to the mounting challenges facing the international investment regime, a regime that regulates an activity that is more important than trade in delivering goods and services to foreign markets and integrating these markets. This is all the more important because international investment is crucial to advance sustainable development, especially in developing countries. For both immediate and long-term reasons, investment policies should, therefore, be a core item on the agenda of the G20 and the Trade and Investment Working Group in particular. The present policy brief makes two sets of recommendations:
1) The G20 should continue its important work on international investment policy reform and initiate steps to operationalise the Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking. More specifically, the G20 should initiate a gap and trend analysis of the contents of international investment agreements (IIAs) in light of the Guiding Principles; operationalise the Guiding Principles by drafting annotations; initiate a voluntary peer learning mechanism among G20 countries regarding the use of the Guiding Principles; and invite UNCITRAL and ICSID to report on progress with regard to reforms of procedural rules.
2) The G20 should support ongoing WTO discussions on investment facilitation. More specifically, the G20 should stress that a future plurilateral investment facilitation agreement needs to be compatible with the most-favoured-nation principle; suggest that investment facilitation discussions aim not only at facilitating more FDI, but sustainable FDI; adopt Guiding Principles for Global Investment Facilitation to provide overall guidance; and encourage the extension of existing aid-for-trade initiatives to investment.
We realize that a number of these proposals require actions that go beyond Argentina’s Presidency. However, they are in line with the desirability that international investment issues constitute a core item on the agenda of the G20 and, in particular, its Trade and Investment Working Group.