Decoding India’s New Model BIT (II)

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | June 8, 2015

The new model BIT has completely excluded Most Favoured Nation (MFN) obligation and has considerably narrowed down the scope and content of national treatment (NT) and FET clauses. Besides, vague provisions have been clearly defined and additional qualifications have been incorporated to avoid their expansive interpretations by arbitral tribunals. In the recent past, arbitral tribunals have interpreted vague obligations (such as FET) in totally conflicting ways thereby creating more confusion than clarity. These amendments are intended to preserve the policy space of host states to pursue developmental and other objectives that may be difficult to reconcile with the framework of investment treaty obligations. The…

Decoding India’s New Model BIT (I)

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | May 11, 2015

In 2013, India launched an official review of its bilateral investment treaties in the wake of public outcry over arbitration notices issued by several foreign investors. Since India negotiates BITs on the basis of a model, the purpose of the review was to revise the 1993 model treaty text in tune with the recent developments and to provide a roadmap for the re-negotiation of country’s existing BITs. In April 2015, the government released a new model treaty text which will replace the previous model text of 1993 and invited comments from public.

So far, India has signed bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with 86 countries. Apart…

Letter to G20 on Global Financial Reforms

April 6, 2015

Below is a letter signed by several international experts, think-tanks and civil society organizations urging G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to not become complacent in regards to on-going financial reforms. The letter acknowledges that G20 has made notable progress in some areas but overall the regulatory integrity of our global financial system remains weak due to the limited scope and slow pace of vital reforms.

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Dear G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors,

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to request a meeting with you at the upcoming World Bank-IMF Spring meetings in Washington DC, in order to discuss the G20 agenda on establishing…

Transformation of the International Investment Agreement Regime: A BRICS Perspective

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | February 25, 2015

The ongoing backlash against the current international investment agreement (IIA) regime calls for policy solutions which not merely strike a good balance between public and private interests in principle but can be translated into workable practice. To explore such solutions, we need to think beyond the box and retreat from the neoliberal orthodoxy. This becomes even more important as we are living in a post-crisis world in which private corporations and investors do not enjoy the level of trust and credibility as they did in the 1990s when the neoliberal globalization was at the peak of its influence and the number of IIAs also…

India-US Bilateral Investment Treaty: Not An Easy Ride

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | January 26, 2015

It’s official: India and the US will resume negotiations on a high-standard bilateral investment treaty (BIT). In a joint statement on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama, the leaders affirmed their “shared commitment to facilitating increased bilateral investment flows and fostering an open and predictable climate for investment.” Since 2008, the two countries have been engaged in sporadic discussions to arrive at such a treaty. In the coming days, negotiations will begin on its wording, based on each country’s revised model treaty texts.

However, given the vast divergence between their respective models, the chances for a quick breakthrough appear bleak, especially since…