News & Events

9 April 2014 - Launching of the Investment Policy Review of Bosnia and Herzegovina
UNCTAD has successfully completed a fact-finding mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (24 March to 4 April)  to gather information to draft the Investment Policy Review. The IPR is due to analyze the policy, regulatory and institutional framework for investment and provide specific recommendations to improve it. [See all IPRs]

7 April 2014 - UNCTAD Releases its Annual Review of ISDS Cases
Investment arbitrations against host countries continued to grow rapidly in 2013, resulting in the second highest number of new cases in history. UNCTAD's annual review  of ISDS cases, part of the IIA Issues Notes series, provides up-to-date statistical data on disputes as well as an overview of key arbitral decisions issued in the past year.

2 April 2014 - Mr. Ban Ki-moon at the World Investment Forum 2014
Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General, will open UNCTAD's World Investment Forum 2014 in Geneva. The Forum will provide a meeting place to shape development solutions, exchange ideas and launch actions, facilitating engagements and effective networking through a rich diversity of events.

26 March 2014 - New Featured Discussion on the Hub: New Rules on Transparency in Investor-State Arbitration
The new article discusses transparency issues in international investment arbitration and the coming into effect of the new UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Investor-State Arbitration on 1 April 2014.

13 March 2014 - Sustainable Stock Exchanges Global Dialogue at the World Investment Forum 2014
Security regulators, stock exchange executives, institutional investors, CEOs and ministers share their vision on ways to harness stock exchanges for sustainable development. An initiative co-organized by UNCTAD, UN Global Compact, UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative. [WIF 2014] [Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative]

12 March 2014 - Interested in Joining UNCTAD as Economic Affairs Officer-P4?
The IIA Section, in the Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIAE) is looking to fill a vacancy. Apply now to join the team! Visit the UNCTAD website to learn more about the IIA Section's activity.

6 March 2014 - UNCTAD Contributed Sustainable Development Perspective to Deauville Partnership Investment Conference in Morocco
UNCTAD's IPFSD informed the debate about best practices for attracting - and benefiting from - foreign investment during the Deauville G8 Partnership meeting organized by the Islamic Development Bank.

6 March 2014 - UNCTAD's 12th Investment Policy Monitor (IPM) Released

UNCTAD’s 12th IPM shows a continuing trend towards improving entry conditions, reducing restrictions and facilitating foreign investment, as well as a slowdown in the conclusion of BITs.

5 March 2014 - WIF 2014 Programme: Engage Investment Stakeholders to Shape an Effective Agenda for Change
The WIF 2014 provides a meeting place to foster inclusive dialogue, formulate development solutions and forge partnerships. Engagements are facilitated through a wide range of events, click here to see the WIF's programme.

18 February 2014 - UNCTAD Contributed to an Assessment of IIAs' Implications for Africa's Development Strategies
Unctad data on IIAs and policy implications for African countries, presented during a seminar organized by CCR and DTI, informed policy choices and strengthened the policy making capacity of African IIA stakeholders.

11 February 2014 - Register Now for UNCTAD's World Investment Forum 2014
The WIF 2014 will take place in Geneva from 13 to 16 October 2014, bringing together investment partners to discuss challenges, opportunities and policy solutions to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [More]

7 February 2014 - UNCTAD's Releases its 2nd IPA Observer 
The report focuses on the impact of GVCs on the role of FDI in development strategies, highlighting the importance of business linkages in upgrading the local supply of developing countries and their capacity for value addition.

5 February 2014 - World Needs Policies for Demand-led Recovery from Global Financial Crisis
Weaker global demand and not new trade barriers or supply-side difficulties are responsible for the slow growth in international trade, an UNCTAD study presented to a G-20 working group on January 21-22 contends. [More]

3 February 2014 - UNCTAD Launches an Online Resource Center for IPAs is an online resource center featuring over 300 tools set to help strengthening the capacity of developing countries in attracting and benefiting from FDI in green industries and other growth sectors. 

29 January 2014 - UNCTAD Increases Stakeholders Engagement in the IPR Process in the Republic of Congo
UNCTAD, UNDP, FAO and the Congolese Government brought together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to contribute to the design of the strategy for FDI attraction in the agricultural sector. [Read more]

29 January 2014 -  UNCTAD's Latest Global Investment Trend Monitor Available
The Monitor highlights that FDI inflows rose to a level comparable to the pre-crisis average, reaching the upper range of UNCTAD's forecast.

24 January 2014 - Interested in Joining UNCTAD? New Internship Opportunity
The IIA Section is looking for an Intern, apply now to join the team! Visit the UNCTAD website to learn more about IIA Section's activity.

24 January 2014 - UNCTAD's Latest Investment Advisory Guide on Low-Carbon Investment Available
The guide highlights that partnerships and networks have proven critical in many low-carbon investment promotion strategies, while a strategy that includes implementation of a policy framework with low-carbon perspective and market-creation policies enhances a location's offer.

22 January 2014 - Columbia FDI Perspective Refers to Uptake of IIA Issues Note
A. Robert's article on "Recalibrating interpretive authority" notes that States have started being more pro-active in asserting their interpretative authority, as suggested in a 2011 UNCTAD paper on this topic. [IIA Issue Note]

16 January 2014 - New Featured Discussion on the Hub: Impact of Termination of IIAs on Investor Rights
The article examines the effect of States' mutual termination of IIAs in light of recent international policy developments.

15 January 2014 - UNCTAD Contributes to COMESA 2013 Investment Report
The IIA Work Programme, on behalf of the Division on Investment and Enterprise, provided for the third consecutive year a substantive chapter for the COMESA Investment Report 2013. The section on international investment policy developments was based on the World Investment Report 2013 (Chapter III) and adjusted to the COMESA region.

14 January 2014 - UNCTAD launches the second edition of the IIA University Mapping Project
In close collaboration with academia, the UNCTAD IIA University Mapping Project sets out to create a comprehensive database of IIAs, categorizing more than 120 variations of IIA provisions. Over 100 law students at 12 different universities will participate in completing the second iteration of the Mapping Project.

14 January 2014 - Myanmar and Republic of Korea Concluded New IIA
The Myanmar and the Republic of Korea initialed a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) that contains substantive investment protection elements. The agreement will come into force after the formal signing and completion of the legal domestic procedures. [More]

18 December 2013 - Libya and the United States Signed a New TIFA
The U.S. and Libya signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) set to build trade and investment relations between the two countries. The TIFA will establish a joint council which will address a wide range of trade and investment issues. [More] [Doc]

18 December 2013 - UNCTAD and OECD Launch 10th Report on G20 Investment Measures
The report finds that G20 members, for the most part, have continued to honour their pledge not to introduce new restrictive policies for international investment. More on UNCTAD's work with the G20.

17 December 2013 - Training Material From UNCTAD's Regional Training in Rabat Now Available
The workshop held in Rabat from 10-13 December 2013 offered African countries concrete IPFSD-based policy options for the design of sustainable development friendly IIAs. [Programme and training material]

16 December 2013 - Japan and Myanmar Conclude New IIA
On 15 December 2013, Japan and Myanmar signed a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) which contains elements of liberalisation and protection. [More]

15 December 2013 - Training Material From UNCTAD's Regional Training in Bogotá Now Available
The workshop held in Bogotá from 18-22 November 2013 offered Latin American countries concrete IPFSD-based policy options for the design of sustainable development friendly IIAs. [Programme and training material]

12 December 2013 - India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Conclude New IIA
On 12 December 2013, India and the UAE signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) during an official visit of the UAE Foreign Minister to India. [More]

10 December 2013 - UNCTAD Launches its 6th IPFSD-based Regional Training Course in Rabat
The four-day workshop, from 10-13 December, will benefit 21 African countries, by offering concrete IPFSD-based policy options for the design of national and international investment policies for sustainable development. This event is organized in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and ESCWA. [Programme

9 December 2013 - Australia and Korea Conclude New FTA
On 5 December 2013, Australia and Korea announced the conclusion of their free trade agreement (FTA) with investment protection elements. The agreement includes an investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, as well as carve-outs and safeguards in areas such as public welfare, health and the environment. [More]

5 December 2013 - UNCTAD's Deputy Secretary-General Petko Draganov Presents IPFSD to Ministerial Session of the Energy Charter Conference
Deliberations in Cyprus assess the last 15 years of practice and theory in the promotion and protection of energy investment under the ECTMr. Draganov updated the meeting on trends in national and international investment policy-making and showed how IPFSD can help to address emerging challenges.

4 December 2013 - UNCTAD Briefs UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
At the panel on "Integrating human rights in international investment policies and contracts", UNCTAD highlighted how the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights had helped shape the IPFSD and how the two instruments can mutually support each other. [Forum]

4 December 2013 - Training Material from UNCTAD's IPFSD Course for PACER Countries Now Available
The one day course held on 25 November 2013 focused on training Pacific Islands Forum countries in negotiating sustainable development friendly IIAs. [Agenda, including training material]

4 December 2013 - The Netherlands and United Arab Emirates Conclude New IIA
The Netherlands and UAE signed a bilateral agreement with investment protection elements. [More]

28 November 2013 - Albania and Canada Conclude New IIA
Albania and Canada announced the conclusion of their foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA). The agreement will come into force once both parties complete their domestic ratification processes. This is the fifth IIA Canada has concluded in 2013 alone. [More]

25 November 2013 -  IPFSD-based Training for PACER Countries
During a one day training session held together with  the Office of the Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA), UNCTAD trained more than 40 officials from the Pacific Islands Forum countries on the negotiation of sustainable development friendly IIAs.

20 November 2013 - International Seminar in Quito Discusses Options for Reforming ISDS

UNCTAD contributes to the Seminar, hosted by the Attorney General of Ecuador, by presenting its IIA Issues Note on "Paths of Reform for ISDS".

18 November 2013 - UNCTAD Starts 5th IPFSD-based Regional Training Course in Bogotá

The five-day workshop will benefit 14 Latin American countries, by offering concrete IPFSD-based policy options for the design of national and international investment policies for sustainable development. It is organized in cooperation with the OAS and Colombia`s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. [Programme]

13-14 November 2013 - UNCTAD Contributes to Eighth Annual Columbia Investment Conference

At a conference entitled "Investment Incentives - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Assessing the Costs, Benefits and Options for Policy Reform", James Zhan, Investment Division Director, contributes UNCTAD's expertise to a discussion on future policy options for the governance of FDI incentives. [Programme]

14 November 2013 - UNCTAD's IPFSD Presented at the CSR Inter-Agency Round Table

At an inter-agency round table on corporate social responsibility (CSR) held in Geneva, UNCTAD presented the IPFSD as offering concrete policy options for harnessing and promoting CSR issues through IIAs.

12 November 2013 – Latest UNCTAD Investment Policy Monitor Released

The new Monitor finds that from January to October 2013, the overall share of more restrictive or regulatory investment policies continued to increase. More countries also seek to retain foreign investors or promote repatriation by domestic investors. As far as international investment policies are concerned, seventeen economies concluded eight new IIAs, that is four BITs and four "other IIAs".

8 November 2013 – UNCTAD and UNDP Assist Lesotho Adopt Investment Policy

UNCTAD and UNDP presented high-level Government officials a draft National Investment Policy and key investment reforms, during a one-day workshop in Maseru. The Policy compiles policies and practices in dealing with national and foreign investors and aims to fill a gap in the current regulatory framework with a view to maximizing sustainable development benefits from foreign investment. [Press release]

5 November 2013 - Canada and Honduras Sign FTA

The agreement includes a substantive investment protection and liberalization chapter. It will be debated in the Canadian Parliament and Honduran Congress and following approval, it will come into force. [More]

4 November 2013 – UNCTAD Briefs the 7th Annual Forum of Investment Negotiators

At the IISD/South Centre Forum, held in Jakarta, UNCTAD informed deliberations on trends in ISDS based on its ISDS database and its annual IIA Issues Note and on five paths of reform for ISDS. [Programme]

30 October 2013 – UNCTAD Contributes to Chevron/Ecuador Arbitration Seminar

In a seminar convened by the Ecuadorian missions to the UN and the WTO, UNCTAD discussed issues at stake in the investment dispute between Chevron and Ecuador and its implications for the current IIA regime and ISDS reform.

23 October 2013 – WIR Laying the Basis for the EUI's Executive Training on FDI

The three day seminar on "The Role of Foreign Direct Investments for Development: Legal, Social and Economic Aspects", convened by the Florence-based European University Institute, was opened by an UNCTAD presentation on trends in FDI and investment policymaking, based on the 2013 World Investment Report. [Presentation] [WIR13]

10 October 2013 – IPFSD at the Core of Policy-Oriented Academic Debate in Berlin

The two day conference, entitled "IIAs - Balancing Sustainable Development and Investment Protection" will allow for a critical assessment of IPFSD, combined with a discussion of selected IIA issues and regional perspectives on investment law. [Programme] [Presentation]

10 October 2013 – Training Material from UNCTAD's 4th IPFSD Course for Economies in Transition Now Available

The course held in Sarajevo from 1-4 October 2013 discussed UNCTAD's Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, as well as ISDS trends and dispute prevention/alternative dispute resolution policies. [Programme/Training Material] [Concept Note] [Photographs]

8 October 2013 – UNCTAD's IPFSD at the WTO Public Forum

On 3 October 2013, James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's DIAE, contributed to the World Economic Forum (WEF) working session, entitled 'Unleashing the potential for FDI and trade in developing countries: the case for a multilateral agreement on investment', highlighting the contribution of IPFSD for multilateral cooperation in international investment rule-making. [Programme] [Speaking notes] [IIA Issues Note]

7 October 2013 – Free Trade Agreement Between Chile and Thailand
On 4 October 2013, Chile and Thailand signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Bangkok. While the agreement does not contain an investment chapter, it sets out a mandate for the negotiation of an investment agreement within two years from the FTA's entry into force. [More]

1 October 2013 – UNCTAD IIA Training Course for Economies in Transition Under Way 
UNCTAD's regional training courses, held from 1–4 October 2013 in Sarajevo, will benefit 18 economies in transition and some European countries. The course will discuss UNCTAD's IPFSD which offers concrete policy options for the design of IIAs for sustainable development, as well as ISDS trends and dispute prevention/alternative dispute resolution policies. See the program [Program]

30 September 2013 – UNCTAD Concludes Fact-finding Mission for the Report on the Implementation of the IPR of Zambia

The Report will review progress made by the Government in the implementation of recommendations of the 2006 Investment Policy Review. These addressed Zambia's legal and institutional framework for investment as well as FDI strategies for economic diversification. The mission was coordinated by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Zambia. [IPR]

26 September 2013 – Canada and Côte d’Ivoire Conclude IIA
Canada and Côte d’Ivoire concluded their foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA), a treaty designed to promote and protect Canadian investment abroad. [More]

20 September 2013 – Colombia and Panama Sign FTA with Investment Provisions

The FTA includes a substantive investment protection chapter and is expected to bring about deeper economic integration between the two countries, help improve the business environment and pave the way for Panama to become a full member of the Pacific Alliance. [More]

17 September 2013 – Canada and Serbia Conclude New IIA

Canada and Serbia announce the conclusion of their foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA). The agreement will come into force once both parties complete their domestic ratification processes. [More]

10 September 2013 – UNCTAD IIA Training Course for Economies in Transition - Programme Out Now!

Following events in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the 4th of UNCTAD's newly rolled out regional training courses will benefit 18 economies in transition. Held from 1-4 October 2013 in Sarajevo, the course will build on UNCTAD's IPFSD. In addition to offering concrete options for the design of IIAs that effectively promote sustainable development and inclusive growth, the course will also address ISDS and policies to prevent and manage disputes. [Download] 

9 September 2013 – UNCTAD briefed WHO's FCTC Regional Meeting on IIAs and IIA Tobacco Disputes

At a recent WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) meeting, UNCTAD's IIA team updated health policy makers from Latin America on two on-going investment disputes on tobacco packaging – Philip Morris v. Uruguay and Philip Morris v. Australia – and their systemic implications. Also discussed were policy options based on UNCTAD's IPFSD for countries wishing to implement the FCTC and domestic health legislation while minimizing liability under investor-state dispute settlement. 

2 August 2013 - Making Foreign Investment Work: Lessons from Mozambique

DIAE Director James Zhan argues Mozambique may stimulate more investment if it targets investment policies to help small businesses flourish, in an article that was published in The Guardian's Global Development Professionals Network. The article focuses on recommendations made in an UNCTAD investment policy review, conducted at the request of the Mozambican government.

23 July 2013 - UNCTAD presents IPFSD at WTI Summer Academy 2013

At the Summer Academy 2013 of the World Trade Institute (WTI) UNCTAD presented the IPFSD as a tool for international investment policy making. Students representing more than 20 countries from all continents are attending the Academy. Many of them are current or future policy makers in the field of trade and investment.

19 July 2013 - IIA Issues Note on Multilateral Investment Policy Making

UNCTAD offers IPFSD-based suggestions for multilateral investment policy making that are designed to foster inclusive growth and sustainable development. [More info] [Download]

6 July 2013 - Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and China

China and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement (FTA) that includes investment promotion provisions supplementing the China-Switzerland BIT which came into force in April 2010. [More]

26 June 2013 - UNCTAD Launches its World Investment Report 2013

The Report analyzes the latest trends in Foreign Direct Investment flows and in Investment Policies and dedicates a special chapter to the Global Value Chains and their contribution to development. [Publication]

26 June 2013 - EFTA, Costa Rica and Panama Signed a Free Trade Agreement
Ministers from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and from Costa Rica and Panama have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aiming at further enhancing the economic ties and promote trade and investment between the two sides. [More]


24 June 2013 - UNCTAD Launches the 4th IIA Issues Note on Treaty Renewal

In its IIA Issues Note, UNCTAD analyzes the renewal and expiration of international investment agreements, finding that by the end of 2013 more than 1,300 bilateral investment treaties will be at the stage where they could be terminated or renegotiated at any time.

19 June 2013 - Special edition of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Monitor Focuses on Reviewing of Cross-border M&As

The 10th edition of the IPM presents recent developments concerning the reviewing of cross-border M&As and finds that a considerable share of cross-border M&As have been withdrawn for regulatory or political reasons. [More] [Download]

19 June 2013 - UNCTAD Held Meetings in Lesotho with Representatives of Government and Private Sector

The mission was set to assist the Government of Lesotho in the preparation of a National Investment Policy in cooperation with UNDP and to conduct research required to prepare an Implementation Report to UNCTAD's Investment Policy Review of 2003.

17 June 2013 - UNCTAD and OECD Launch 9th Report on G-20 Investment Measures

The report indicates that the great majority of investment policy measures went in the direction of eliminating restrictions and facilitating international investment. [More info] [Report]

14 June 2013 - UNCTAD and APEC Release the "Handbook for Negotiators of International Investment Agreements"

The UNCTAD-APEC Handbook provides a practical and user-friendly tool for negotiators of international investment treaties with a view to assisting them in formulating future agreements in line with their development strategies. [Download]

13 June 2013 – UNCTAD’s Virtual Institute Introduced the IPFSD at the Pontificia Universidad Cátolica del Perú
UNCTAD’s Virtual Institute introduced the IPFSD via teleconference to 40 government representatives and other investment policy stakeholders at a gathering hosted by the Pontificia Universidad Cátolica del Perú, focusing on how to implement sustainable development practices and other broader policy agendas in national policy making and IIA negotiations while promoting investment. [More]

12 June 2013 - UNCTAD launches 3rd IIA Issues Note - Investment Regionalism

In its IIA Issues Note UNCTAD analyses the rise of regionalism in international investment policymaking and asks whether this brings consolidation or an additional layer of complexity. [Download]

12 June 2013 - Training Material from UNCTAD's 3rd IPFSD Course for South-East Asia Now Available

The course, held in Bangkok from 27 to 31 May 2013, focused on the nexus between investment policy and sustainable development. Click here to download the agenda including the links to the training material.

11 June 2013 - Colombia and Israel Signed a Free Trade Agreement in Jerusalem, Israel

The agreement, signed after 15 months of negotiations, will reduce tariffs on industrial and agricultural products. Trade between the countries is valued at $1 billion per year, while Israeli exports to Columbia totaled some $143 million in 2012.

3 June 2013 – UNCTAD’s Virtual Institute Introduced the IPFSD at the Pontificia Universidad Cátolica del Perú 
UNCTAD’s Virtual Institute introduced the IPFSD via teleconference to 40 government representatives and other investment policy stakeholders at a gathering hosted by the Pontificia Universidad Cátolica del Perú, focusing on how to implement sustainable development practices and other broader policy agendas in national policy making and IIA negotiations while promoting investment. [More]

31 May 2013 - UNCTAD Delivered its 3rd Technical Assistance Course Based on the IPFSD in Bangkok, Thailand

UNCTAD continues its training series based on the IPFSD with a session for the South-East Asian countries held in Bangkok (Thailand). The workshop, organized with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and hosted by the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD), focused on the nexus between investment policy and sustainable development.

29 May 2013 - CARICOM and the United States Signed a Trade and Investement Framework Agreement (TIFA)

The Agreement is expected to drive strengthened ties between CARICOM and the United States on a wide range of trade, investment and economic cooperation issues. The agreement establishing a Trade and Investment Council (TIC) in 1991 will be replaced by the TIFA signed yesterday. [More]

28 May 2013 - Costa Rica and Colombia Signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Cali, Colombia

According to the trade deal, signed on the eve of 7th Pacific Alliance Summit, 70% of the negotiated tariff items will be eliminated immediately while 26% of tariffs will be phased in over of a period of 3 to 15 years. The FTA includes also an investment chapter. [More]

28 May 2013 - UNCTAD Releases its New Issue Notes on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Reform

The paper responds to concerns with the  ISDS mechanism, offering five main options to reform the current system of investment arbitration. [More] [Download]

23 May 2013 - The United States and Myanmar Signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

The agreement establishes a council on trade and investment to monitor trade and investment relations, identify investment opportunities and relevant issues related to the rule of law, transparency, corruption, intellectual property rights, workers rights and the environment. [More]

21 May 2013 - New Featured Discussion on Agricultural Investments and International Investment Law on the Hub

The featured discussion highlights risks and opportunities related to large agricultural investments, pointing to the need for proper institutions and safeguards, including through investment contracts and in IIAs.

17 May 2013 - Canada and Tanzania Signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty

The agreement aims at strengthening economic ties between the two countries and help companies invest with greater confidence. The treaty will come into force once each country’s domestic approval process is complete. [More]

17 May 2013 - UNCTAD Contributed to CBC's "Commonwealth Trade & Investment Report"

At the invitation of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), J. Zhan, DIAE Director, sketches problems arising from international investment policy making and offers suggestion on how to improve future policy making using UNCTAD's IPFSD. [Article] [More]

16 May 2013 - ECLAC Launched the Report "Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2012"

The report offers a qualitative overview of FDI inflows in Latin America and looks at the relative importance of the different destination sectors in the host economies and the geographical origin of these capital flows. [More]

15 May 2013 - IPFSD at the 14th Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development

The joint lunchtime briefing by UNCTAD and OHCHR on UNCTAD's Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD) will enable delegates to familiarize with the IPFSD and consider its synergy with right to development and all human rights.

13 May 2013 - UNCTAD will Provide Technical Assistance to Lesotho for its National Investment Policy 

A high level roundtable opens today the UNCTAD's 10-day fact-finding mission to collect the information necessary to assess the implementation status of the Investment Policy Review of Lesotho carried out in 2003.

6 May 2013 - IPFSD Now Part of UNCTAD's Regular Courses for Permanent Missions in Geneva 

Delegates from 26 Permanent Missions join today's course in Geneva. The training is shaped to raise awareness about the new UNCTAD Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD) and its concrete options offered to policy makers to effectively promote sustainable development and inclusive growth. [Presentation1] [Presentation2]

2 May 2013 - UNCTAD’s Workshop "Seizing Green Investment Opportunities: The Role of IPAs", Geneva

The objective of the workshop is to share the experiences of the world's best IPAs as well as trends, promotion techniques, partnerships and other strategies to attract green investments.

1 May 2013 - UNCTAD Intervention on the "Role of Intergovernmental Agreements in Energy Policy", Geneva

On 29 April, at a workshop hosted by the WTO and organized by the Energy Charter Secretariat, UNCTAD outlined the challenges for IIA negotiators in FDI for the energy sector focusing on the factors that discourage investors and on the tools to balance private and public interests. [Presentation][Workshop programme]

30 April 2013 - Opening Statements to the 5th Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission Available Now

The statements by James Zhan (Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD) outline the latest developments in FDI trends and policies and in the promotion of entrepreneurship for productive capacity-building.

29 April 2013 - UNCTAD's 5th Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission, Geneva

The session starts off with the opening statement of Mr. Dr. P. Draganov, Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD. 

26 April 2013 - More than 4,000 Downloads for the Annual Review of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Cases

UNCTAD's IIA Issues Note on the latest developments in investor-State dispute settlement has already been downloaded over 4,000 times in the first two weeks after its launch. [Report][See also IPFSD options on dispute settlement]

24 April 2013 - 5th Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission at UNCTAD, Geneva

This year’s session will start on 29 April 2013 and focus on promoting entrepreneurship for productive capacity-building and addressing investment, innovation and technology for development. [More info] [Agenda]

23 April 2013 - Capacity-building Workshop for Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) at UNCTAD, Geneva

The workshop will take place on 2 May 2013 and focus on green FDI (greening techniques, renewables and R&D) bringing together industry experts and best practice IPAs to share strategies, promotion techniques and partnerships. [Programme]

19 April 2013 - UNCTAD Releases the Investment Policy Review (IPR) of Djibouti

The report, based on IPFSD's guidelines, includes an overhaul of the investment code, concrete measures for improving the business environment, improved targeting of investment promotion at sectoral level. [IPR of Djibouti]

19 April 2013 - UNCTAD Highlights Key Systemic Challenges of International Investment Policy Making for EU Parliament
James Zhan, DIAE Director, presents UNCTAD's findings on the implications of the fast changing international investment scenario on EU policy making. [Watch the video: mins. 34 > 49] [Presentation]

16 April 2013 - China and Iceland Signed a Free Trade Agreement
The FTA is the first between China and a European country. The agreement covers trade in goods and services, rules of origin, trade facilitation, intellectual property rights, competition and investment. [More info]

10 April 2013 - UNCTAD Releases its Annual Review of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Cases
The report reveals that 62 new cases were initiated in 2012 against host countries – the highest number of known treaty-based disputes ever filed in a single year. [See also IPFSD options on dispute settlement] [Press Release]

9 April 2013 - Austria and Nigeria Conclude a New Investment Protection Agreement

The treaty is expected to encourage Austrian businesses to invest in Nigeria, which is Austria's second most important foreign trade partner behind South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa. [More info]

9 April 2013 - Jamaica and Kuwait Signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty

The agreement signed by Jamaica and Kuwait will provide protection for foreign investors, ranging from the usual national treatment and most favored nation treatment, to guarantees for fair and equitable treatment and access to investor-State dispute settlement. Importantly, it also makes specific reference to corporate social responsibility

8 April 2013 -  New Featured Discussion on Third Party Funding in International Investment Arbitration on the Hub

The article offers an overview of the pitfalls and risks faced by users of Third Party Funding (TPF) in international investment arbitration, that in recent years has emerged as an attractive new area for TPF due to the enormous amounts involved in these kinds of disputes.

28 March 2013 - Special Issue of UNCTAD's Global Investment Trends Monitor Released
The report, launched on the occasion of the 5th BRICS Summit in South Africa, focuses on BRICS FDI and Africa, where BRICS countries are becoming significant investors (share in FDI inflows reached 25% in 2010). [Report]

28 March 2013 - IPFSD Presentation Document Now Available
The document offers an overview of the IPFSD background and content and can be used for the preparation of presentations and training material. [IPFSD Presentation Doc]

26 March 2013 - UNCTAD Presented the Draft of the Investment Policy Review (IPR) of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar

UNCTAD’s Secretary-General, Supachai Panitchpakdi, participated in the event hosted by the Minister of Economy of Mongolia, Mr. Nyamjav Batbayar. The IPR was presented to national stakeholders from Government, local and international private sector and civil society.

25 March 2013 - Draft of Investment Policy Review (IPR) of Bangladesh Presented in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The main recommendations of the draft IPR of Bangladesh were discussed with 150 participants representing the Government, other public authorities, private sector and international organizations. The comments gathered will help UNCTAD finalize the IPR.

25 March 2013 - Expert Meeting on Impact of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) on Developing Countries

The meeting, to be held in Geneva from 26 to 28 March 2013, aims at drawing policy lessons for strengthening the role of PPPs in making global value chains (GVCs) conducive to sustainable growth and development in developing countries. [Agenda] [Publication on GVC and Development]

21 March 2013 - The Report on the Implementation of the IPRs of Kenya and Rwanda Now Available on the Hub

The reports appraise the progress made in implementing the recommendations set out in the Investment Policy Review (IPR) of Kenya and Rwanda, released respectively in 2005 and 2006. [Report on the Implementation of IPR of Kenya] [Report on the Implementation of IPR of Rwanda]

20 March 2013 - UNCTAD's New E-Series: The IPA Observer

This series brings best practices by investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to practitioners and governments in developing countries with a view to sharing practical lessons suitable for their IPAs. The first issue “Optimizing Government Services: A Case for Joint Investment and Trade Promotion?” has just been released. [Publication]

13 March 2013 - UNCTAD Launches the Ninth Investment Policy Monitor

The report highlights a notable increase in new investment restrictions and regulations in the reviewed period, with the share of such measures reaching a new height (i.e. 36%). At the same time, investment liberalization and promotion remains the dominant trend in national investment policies. [Publication]

12 March 2013 - New Featured Discussion on Investor-State Arbitration Published on the Hub 

The article offers an assessment of the lessons that could be taken from the recent shift of policy initiated by the Australian Government.

07 March 2013 - UNCTAD Launches a New Publication on Transparency in IIAs Complementing IPFSD Policy Options

The study highlights a new approach to transparency provisions in International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and offers practical policy guidance drafting suggestions for IIA stakeholders.

21 February 2013 - Colombia and the Republic of Korea Signed a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement

The FTA includes an investment chapter and provides national treatment and MFN, as well as a detailed fair and equitable treatment provision. It also includes exceptions to the free transfer of funds and an ISDS mechanism. [FTA]

5 February 2013 - UNCTAD Briefs Delegates and Civil Society On New Guidelines for Investment Policymaking

More than 70 delegates and civil society representatives attended the presentation on the Investment Policy Framework organised by UNCTAD's liaison office in New York. The event highlighted "the imperative for mainstreaming sustainable development into the investment policy core". [Event info] [Video] [Presentation]

28 January 2013 - Renewed Efforts Towards Regional Economic Integration Amid Slower FDI Recovery

"The FDI recovery from the economic crisis will take longer than expected", UNCTAD Director James Zhan said at an UNCTAD expert meeting today while presenting the latest trends in 2012 global FDI flows. Mr. Zhan also highlighted that regional integration can provide a strong boost to intra-regional cross-border investment linkages as the experiences of long-established regional groups - the EU and ASEAN - suggest. Many initiatives towards (inter-)regional economic integration across the globe are currently underway. [More info] [Global Investment Trends Monitor]

11 January 2013 - Canada and Benin Signed New Bilateral Investment Treaty

The Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Benin signed a "Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement" in Canada on last Tuesday (8 January). As of today, the total number of BITs for Canada and Benin is 31 and 15 BITs respectively.

9 January 2013 - "Regional Integration and FDI in Developing and Transition Economies" to Be Discussed at UNCTAD Meeting

On 28-30 January, UNCTAD will bring together a diverse group of experts to examine the role of regional integration as a determinant of FDI and assess the importance of economic and policy fundamentals in promoting investment for sustainable development and inclusive growth. [More info]

13 December 2012 - EU New Legislation on Bilateral Investment Treaties

EU adopted a new regulation that aims at ensuring a smooth transition towards a new EU investment policy and clarifies the legal status of BITs under EU laws, confirming that they may be maintained in force until they are replaced by an EU investment agreement. [More info]

12 December 2012 - Update of the Investment Policy Hub's BITs Database

The bilateral investment treaties (BITs) database has now been updated; full text of 40 new BITs were added to the existing pool of more than 2000 BITs. [Database]

3 December 2012 - UNCTAD Delivers its Second Technical Assistance Course Based on the Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development

UNCTAD continues its training series based on the IPFSD with a session for Latin American countries in Quito (Ecuador). The workshop, organized with the Organization of American States and the Attorney General Office of Ecuador, focuses on issues related to the design of agreements and the management of disputes. [Workshop Presentations]

30 November 2012 – Peru Working to Decrease its Exposure to International Investment Disputes

As a follow up to UNCTAD's Best Practices Case Study, the Government of Peru held a workshop in Lima aimed at boosting the country’s approach to preventing Investor-State disputes. [Agenda] [More info]

29 November 2012 - Academic Debate on the IPFSD in Peru

The IPFSD formed the basis of an extensive academic discussion on IIA trends at a university workshop organized by the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, in Lima. The event took place within the realm of the University's Masters in International Economic Law Programme. [Photos]

29 November 2012 - COMESA Investment Report 2012 Looks at the Nexus of FDI and Regional Economic Integration

The report highlights developments in regional economic integration efforts in COMESA and looks at recent investment policy developments at the international level, noting a number of opportunities to promote sustainable development policies that will also ensure policy coherence at international, regional and bilateral levels.

28 November 2012 - UNCTAD Supports Ecuador in Analyzing the Impact of International Investment Agreements on Public Welfare

UNCTAD, invited by the Ecuadorian Government to an international workshop on the impact of IIAs on public welfare held in Quito, shows how to use the IPFSD to shape sustainable development friendly investment policies. [Agenda]

26 November 2012 - UNCTAD Launches the Eighth Investment Policy Monitor

The report highlights a significant dichotomy in national investment policy making, where some countries took partial liberalization steps in sensitive sectors, while others strengthened their control over key domestic industries. At the same time, international investment policy making further moved towards more regional IIAs, increasing attention on sustainable development and intensifying the public debate on pros and cons of IIAs. [Publication]

19 November 2012 - UNCTAD Started New Cycle of Technical Assistance Based on its Brand-New Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development

UNCTAD initiated its first technical assistance workshop that embodies IIA policy options from the IPFSD. The workshop, held in Casablanca (Morocco), is part of an ongoing cooperation between UNCTAD and the Islamic Development Bank on issues related to international investment agreements and investor-State disputes. [Event info] [Agenda] [Workshop Presentations]

17 November 2012 - New Haiti-Spain Treaty on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment Signed

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Haiti and Spain signed a new BIT at the XXII Ibero-American Summit, bringing their total number of signed BIT to 6 and 77 respectively.

16 November 2012 - UNCTAD Suggested Options to Improve Investor-State Relationships for Sustainable Development at the Seventh Columbia International Investment Conference

UNCTAD supported the goal of balancing all stakeholder interests in IIAs and suggested policy options for future IIAs to safeguard States' policy space and to establish investor responsibilities. Learn more about this topic and check the IPFSD sections on public policy exceptions and investor obligations and responsibilities. [Event info]

15 November 2012 - UNCTAD Underlined the Importance of Supporting Sustainable Development-Friendly Investment Policies during the ALDE FDI Seminar at the EU Parliament

James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's DIAE, described the current state of affairs in the international investment policy regime and the emerging challenges for the EU policymakers. [More info] [Agenda] [Presentation]

9 November 2012 - Dynamics in Increasing Sustainable-Development Friendly FDI in Developing Countries

International organizations have embarked upon the improvement of IIAs so that developing countries can attract and benefit from more sustainable-development friendly foreign investments. Why such steps are needed and how to achieve the goals are discussed in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. Have your say in the Forum.

8 November 2012 - Debate Surrounding Legal Issues in Tobacco Control Gaining Prominence

In the lead-up to the November COP5 of WHO FCTC, a TDM’s “Special” looks at legal issues in tobacco control. Share your thoughts on how IPFSD Sections, and 6.2 can help safeguard tobacco control measures.

1 November 2012 - The IPFSD Featured in the ITN Quarterly, October 2012 Issue

The most recent issue of the Investment Treaty News, a quarterly journal on investment law and policy, featured UNCTAD's IPFSD. The article gives a 3-page overview of the origin of the framework, its objectives, structure and content. [Publication - Feature 3]

31 October 2012 - UNCTAD and OECD Launch 8th Report on G20 Investment Measures

While G20 members continued to honour their pledge not to introduce new restrictive investment measures, a closer look at current developments reveals a more nuanced picture. [More info] [Publication]

29 October 2012 - Presentation of the IPFSD to Senior Investment Negotiators from Developing Countries - Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

UNCTAD presented the IPFSD to senior officials and experts during a session on "New Approaches for Investment Agreements and Sustainable Development" at the 6th Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, co-hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the IISD and the South Centre. [Agenda]

15 October 2012 - UNCTAD’s Pink Series Sequel on “Expropriation” Complements the IPFSD's Policy Advice

Moving beyond a merely descriptive role, the paper offers policy options to assists States in drafing IIA clauses that help promote sustainable development [Publication]

10 October 2012 - Presentation of the IPFSD in Cairo, Egypt
UNCTAD presented the IPFSD during a conference organized by the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) and the the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) on Euro-Arab Investor-State Disputes. [More info] [Photos] [Presentation] [Videos]

2 October 2012 - IPFSD Discussion for UNCITRAL Delegations in Vienna

An IPFSD discussion event took place on the occasion of the 57th Session of the UNCITRAL Working Group II, which discusses the preparation of a legal standard on transparency in treaty -based investor-State arbitration.

1 October 2012 - IPFSD Workshop at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
High-level participants to the workshop included Mr. Chutintorn sam Gongsakdi, Director General of the Department of International Economic Affairs and Ms. Sansanee Sahussarungsi, Director of the Division of Economic Policy. [Photo]

1 October 2012 - IPFSD Guidance for Sustainable Investment in the Mining Sector

James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's DIAE, addresses Commonwealth Ministers in their 2012 Reference Book (at page 135), highlighting how the IPFSD can help generating sustainable development benefits in the mining sector. [Publication]

25 September 2012 - UNCTAD Presents the IPFSD at the WTO Public Forum
James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's DIAE, joins civil society organizations in their session on “Investment Provisions and Agreements: What is the Right 21st Century Approach?”. [Event]

24 September 2012 - UNCTAD's 59th Trade and Development Board Discusses IPFSD

The IPFSD was reviewed by high-level panelists - H.E. Rob Davies's [Statement], H.E. Anabel González's [Statement] and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary‐General on the Millennium Development Goals. [Event] [Related info]

21 September 2012 - IPFSD Discussed at Expert Forum on FDI and Sustainable Development in Berlin
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology of Germany invited UNCTAD to present the WIR12 and IPFSD at the Expert Forum on FDI and Sustainable Development.

20 September 2012 - Launch of World Investment Report and IPFSD in Helsinki
The WIR12 and IPFSD are launched in collaboration with Invest in Finland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. [Event]

9 September 2012 - The IPFSD Gathers Support in China

The IPFSD gathers support during the launching of the World Investment Report 2012 at the 16th China International Fair for Investment & Trade in Xiamen. [Event]

3 September 2012 - More than 33,000 Downloads Over the Past Two Months for the WIR 2012 and IPFSD

Since its launch in July, the World Investment Report (WIR) 2012 has already been downloaded over 33,000 times. [WIR 2012] [IPFSD]

27 August 2012 - The August Volume of “Weltwirtschaft und Entwicklung” Features the IPFSD
Offering the first German overview of UNCTAD’s IPFSD, Anna Lisa Brahms highlights the key features of the WIR 2012's Chapter IV. [Publication

6 August 2012 - IPFSD Put Into Action with SADC countries

As investment policy makers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) convene in Pretoria, South Africa, the IPFSD guides their in-depth discussions of the draft SADC model BIT. [Event]

27 July 2012 - Presenting IPFSD to the University of the Western Cape
UNCTAD presented the IPFSD to students of the Specialized LL.M Programme in International Trade, Investment and Business Law. [Photos] [University's Website]

26 July 2012 - South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister Praises UNCTAD's IPFSD at Launch in Johannesburg

The Minister was speaking at the launch of the framework at the Mandela Institute which was attended by more than 100 participants from government, the media, the private sector, and academia. [Statement] [Event]

24 July 2012 - Presenting IPFSD to the WTI Summer Academy

UNCTAD, as part of its collaboration with the Summer Academy of the World Trade Institute (University of Bern), presented the IPFSD to participants of the 2012 batch during the Settling Investment Disputes module. [Event] [Photos]

16 July 2012 – The IPFSD Has Been Downloaded Over 14,000 times Since the 5 July Launch

Since the launch of the World Investment Report (WIR) 2012 in July the IPFSD has been downloaded over 14,000 times. [WIR 2012] [IPFSD]

14 July 2012 - Presenting IPFSD to the 3rd Global Conference of SIEL in Singapore
UNCTAD presented the IPFSD at the 2012 Conference of the Society for International Economic Law (SIEL), hosted by the Center for International Law at the National University of Singapore. [Event] [Photos]

10 July 2012 - IPFSD Welcomed by High-Level Policymakers in Tunisia

Both President and the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Tunisia welcomed the proposal for using UNCTAD's IPFSD to review Tunisia's investment policies and to revise its investment code. [Event]

10 July 2012 - Joint UNCTAD-IISD Discussion Event for Investment and Development Stakeholders
At the joint event, UNCTAD presented IPFSD to a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector. [Event ] [Video UNCTAD] [Video IISD] [Video UNEP] [Video Q&A] [Ppt]

5 July 2012 - Launch of the IPFSD

The IPFSD is launched, as part of the World Investment Report 2012, in more than 60 destinations across the globe.

About Us
The Investment Policy Hub is an initiative by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIAE). It provides stakeholders in the field of investment policymaking an interactive platform where they can stay up to date and discuss the latest developments in this area. 

Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development

The IPFSD is a product of UNCTAD's accumulated expertise on national and international investment policy-making. It aims at making investment work for [...] 

Investment Policy Reviews

The investment policy review (IPR) programme offers to developing countries recommendations to improve policies and strategies for attracting higher levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) and [...]

Investment Policy Databases

International Investment Agreements

The Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) search engine is designed to provide a user-friendly tool to retrieve specific investment treaty between two countries. This compilation is based on [...]

Investment Policy Monitor

UNCTAD has been collecting information on changes in national FDI policies on an annual basis since 1992. This collection has served as input to the analysis of global and regional investment policy trends in UNCTAD's annual World Investment Reports, the quarterly Investment Policy Monitors (since 2009) and the [...]


Has sustainable development benefited from investment liberalization? Do we need a multilateral investment agreement? How can investment policies promote the development impact of FDI? UNCTAD's interactive discussion forum invites users to follow and participate in the deliberations discussions on these and other questions. [...]