European Commission issues procedural proposals for the Investment Court System envisaged under CETA

In October 2019, the European Commission (the “Commission“) presented four proposals (the “Proposals“) to the Council of the European Union (the “Council“) with specific rules to establish the Investment Court System (“ICS“) envisaged under the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA“). If the Council and the EU Member States approve the Proposals, the EU … Read more

Australian Joint Standing Committee on Treaties approves new investment treaties between Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (“JSCOT“) of the Australian Parliament has just released Report No. 186 examining three treaties: the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Hong Kong, China (“HK-FTA“), the Investment Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China … Read more

China’s Lin-gang Free Trade Zone in Shanghai Opens to Foreign Arbitration Institutions from 2020

On 8 November 2019, the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice publically announced the “Administrative Measures for Business Offices Established by Overseas Arbitration Institutions in Lin-gang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone” (Administrative Measures) (dated 21 October 2019) at the Shanghai International Arbitration Summit, as one of the events in the 2019 China … Read more

MERCOSUR AND THE EUROPEAN UNION AGREE HISTORIC AND AMBITIOUS TRADE AGREEMENT

On June 28, 2019, the European Union and the Common Market of the South (“Mercosur”), announced they had reached a trade deal after twenty years of negotiations (the “EU-Mercosur Agreement”).  While the agreement in principle is still subject to ratification by the national parliaments of the member states of both blocs, the European Parliament and … Read more

AUSTRALIA AND HONG KONG SIGN NEW TRADE AGREEMENT CONTAINING INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROVISIONS

On 26 March 2019, Australia and Hong Kong signed the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKFTA) and its associated Investment Agreement (Agreement). These agreements were negotiated against the background of a heated political debate in Australia regarding the benefits and risks of investment treaties. This debate occurred as a result of an arbitration brought against … Read more

Indian Government launches international research project on the impact of Bilateral Investment Treaties on investment flows from/to the country

India entered into its first bilateral investment treaty (BIT), with the United Kingdom, in 1994, as part of a strategy to attract inbound foreign direct investment (FDI).  Having begun to open its economy in the 1990s, India today is a major investment destination.  The Modi government has been keen to attract further investment, including with … Read more

EU and Japan formally sign economic partnership agreement

On 17 July 2018, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was formally signed during the EU-Japan summit in Tokyo.  The EPA – the largest free trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU – has been years in the making and took significant time and effort to get to this stage. You can read more about … Read more