Dear WIN Members,

It is my pleasure to share with you UNCTAD's IIA Issues Note entitled: "
The rise of regionalism in international investment policymaking: consolidation or complexity?"

Today, at least 110 countries are involved in 22 regional negotiations.  This follows the conclusion of eight regional IIAs during 2012, involving 49 countries from Asia, Europe, North and South America.

Regionalism brings challenges and opportunities. The current approach to regionalism leads to a multiplication of treaty layers, making the network of international obligations even more complex and prone to overlap and inconsistency.

However, regionalism can also provide an opportunity for rationalization of the IIA regime. A recent UNCTAD analysis of nine selected regional negotiations found that they could replace close to ten per cent of today's BITs network: if parties to these nine negotiations (i.e. those where BITs-type provisions are on the agenda) opted to replace their respective BITs with an investment chapter in the regional agreement, this would reduce today's global BIT network by more than 270 BITs.

* * *

Analysis of overall investment policy developments, both at the national and international levels, will be available in UNCTAD's 2013 World Investment Report (WIR), to be launched globally on 26th June. The report will also present recent global and regional investment trends. The theme of the report is "global value chains: investment and trade for development".

With kind regards,

    James Zhan
    Investment & Enterprise Division
    United Nations Conference on Trade & Development
    Palais des Nations, Geneva
    Tel: +41 22 9175797 (World Investment Reports) ____
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