INVESTMENT & COMPETITION IN INTERNATIONAL POLICY PROSPECTS FOR WTO LAW

Ahmad K. Masa'deh

In the twilight of liberalising foreign direct investment (FDI), where are we on investors’ behaviour? This work covers various aspects of the international law, both extant and proposed, to investment and competition issues.  It is concerned with the creation of binding multilateral rules that augment investment freedom in the international sphere and at the same time regulate the behaviour of foreign investors by way of curtailing restrictive business practices (RBPs).  Its predominant argument is that a multilateral endeavour, that is only limited to deregulating governmental measures applicable to investment projects, and which ignores the regulation of investors’ conduct, is likely to accord multinational enterprises (MNEs) greater leeway at the expense of host nations, particularly developing ones, which could unhinge their development programs.

This work traces the historical causes for the continuous failure to secure a balanced multilateral instrument for investment and investors’ behaviour, an example of which is the recent failure of the OECD Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). It also examines the potentially restrictive nature of corporate conduct in order to demonstrate the need for international rules for investors.  The analysis is the outcome of a synthesis of issues ranging from how investment deregulation may negatively affect the political and economic interests of developing nations, if it is not complimented with another effort that compels foreign investors to be ‘good corporate citizens, to the consequences of the extraterritorial application of the US and EC competition laws as a mechanism to regulate MNEs. 

These questions, over which developed and developing countries have often disagreed, in addition to the immense heat which extraterritoriality generates, support an urgent need to create multilateral harmonised rules for the liberalisation of investment and the regulation of restrictive business practices.  In response to the Doha WTO Ministerial Declaration of 2001 to start negotiations on investment and competition issues, the author suggets the enhancement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and provides analysis as to how to utilize the mechanisms and facilities of the WTO in order to embed investment and competition rules in a multilateral context.

ISBN 10:1 874698 39 2

ISBN 13: 978 1 874698 39 5 

• Hardback  • 320pp • 2003 • £95.00