Dear Sir or Madam,

I wish to share with you the latest developments in national and international investment policy trends, as described in Chapter III of UNCTAD World Investment Report 2015.

At the national level, countries' new investment policy measures have been geared predominantly towards investment liberalization, promotion and facilitation. In 2014, more than 80 per cent of investment policy measures aimed to improve entry conditions and reduce restrictions. A focus was investment facilitation and sector‐specific liberalization (e.g. in infrastructure and services). New investment restrictions related mostly to national security concerns and strategic industries (such as transport, energy and defence).

At the international level, countries and regions continue their efforts to negotiate and conclude international investment agreements (IIAs). With the addition of 31 agreements, the regime has grown to 3271 agreements (2,926 bilateral investment treaties and 345 other IIAs) by the end of 2014. While the annual number of BITs continues to decline, more and more countries and economies are engaged in IIA negotiations at regional and subregional levels. For example, the five ongoing negotiations on the "Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)", the "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)", the "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)", the "Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)", and the "Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus" involve close to 90 economies.

At the same time, countries and regions consider new approaches to investment policymaking. Reacting to the growing unease with the current functioning of the global IIA regime, together with today's sustainable development imperative and the evolution of the investment landscape, at least 50 countries and regions have been engaged in reviewing and revising their IIA models and formulating new IIA strategies.

There were 42 new investor‐State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases in 2014, bringing the total number of known treaty‐based claims to 608. Developing countries continue to bear the brunt of these claims as defendants, but the share of developed countries is on the rise.

Best regards,

James Zhan
Director, Investment and Enterprise
Team leader, World Investment Report
Palais des Nations, Geneva
Tel: +41 22 917 5797 (World Investment Reports)
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