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 the European Union Council – a process that could take between one and two years – it lays the ground for an “ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement”,[1] said to be the largest the European Union has ever concluded.

The historic deal creates a market covering a population of 800 million people that represents nearly a fourth of the world’s GDP.  In addition to removing tariffs, the new agreement aims to enhance the economic and political integration of both regions by creating employment and developing a more transparent and predictable regulatory framework.

Continue reading

The new draft Dutch BIT: what does it mean for investor mailbox companies?

The Netherlands has released a new draft investment treaty for public comment (“Draft BIT“).  If adopted, the Draft BIT may raise questions about the Kingdom’s attractiveness for foreign investors who have long taken advantage of Dutch treaty protections by structuring their investment via companies in the Netherlands.  The Netherlands proposes to use the new model as a basis for renegotiating its existing BITs with non-EU states, and, as such, the new draft’s more restrictive provisions may be significant for existing investors with protection under existing BITs, as well as those considering future investments. Key features of the Draft BIT are considered below.

Continue reading