Developing countries have entered into a large number of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) as well as free trade agreements (FTAs) that include explicit obligations for the protection of intellectual property rights as "investments".
A star-studded film about two brothers caught on opposite sides of the Korean War broke all box-office records here this year.
Bilateral trade treaties have hit stormy waters in recent weeks, drawing criticism from French President Jacques Chirac, a leading world economist and human rights groups alike.
The efforts to establish global and regional ‘free trade’ agreements have met with considerable resistance. People around the world suffering the effects of so-called free trade have steadily built a movement to reject the dominant economic model.
On June 28, two days before the announced date of handover of power, the United States transferred political authority in Iraq, in a meeting so secret only six people participated.
The Bush Administration is using the military invasion and occupation of Iraq to advance a corporate globalization agenda that is illegal under international law, has not been chosen by the Iraqi people and may ultimately prove to be even more devastating than twelve years of economic sanctions, two U.S.-led wars and one occupation. The Administration’s ultimate goal is to take the agenda to the entire region.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development has just released a new book: Investment and Sustainable Development: A Guide to the Use and Potential of International Investment Agreements.
Regional trade agreements (RTAs) are an integral part of international trade, accounting for almost half of world trade and expected to grow further in the next few years. These agreements operate alongside global multilateral agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO), and have both positive and negative effects.
You’ve got to wonder at the nerve of New Zealand trade officials. During the furtive Multilateral Agreement on Investment negotiations and the subsequent international waves of opposition they were quietly hatching binding bilateral investment deals containing provisions resembling some of the most controversial elements of the MAI.
The recent explosion of bilateral investment and trade agreements and investor-state disputes is of growing concern. Many mobilisations against the World Trade Organisation (WTO) aim to stop attempts by industrialised countries to kickstart talks on a multilateral investment agreement at September’s Cancun Ministerial meeting.
Bilateral agreements are a powerful but hidden tool to achieve uniform market conditions for transnational corporations in developing countries. Silently hammered out between individual governments, they offer a direct means to cut deals over market access privileges, foreign investment, research funding or anchor-free profits.