Creamer Media | 7 April 2020
Unctad says Covid-19 implications go as far as intl investment agreements
by Marleny Arnoldi
New data from intergovernmental body, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (Unctad’s) investment policy monitor shows that investment policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic vary from country to country.
The responses include measures supporting investors and domestic economies in general, as well as policies to protect critical domestic infrastructure and industries, particularly in the health sector.
Unctad says that, at international level, the Group of Twenty and Group of Seven leading economies have issued statements in support of investment and global value chains.
The pandemic is expected to have a lasting impact on future investment policy making.
The policy monitor finds that, during the pre-crisis review period, which is November 2019 to February 2020, investment liberalisation, promotion and facilitation accounted for three-quarters of newly adopted policy measures, which is a ratio broadly in line with the longer-term policy trend.
Simultaneously, a further increase in measures related to the screening of foreign investment for national security reasons was observed, notes Unctad.
The intergovernmental body adds that countries signed at least three international investment agreements during the review period, bringing the total number of international investment agreements to 3 292.
Unctad says that newly concluded agreements continue to include reform-oriented provisions.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, many investment-focused initiatives and events, including high-level meetings and summits, have been cancelled or postponed. The crisis may also have implications on negotiations of international investment agreement, Unctad concludes.