Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


Chun Hung Lin


In past decades, the most significant contributor to the booming global economy was the development of cross-border transactions. Specifically, foreign investment has expanded rapidly, becoming an increasingly important factor in host economies and in the international community. Also, foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased rapidly for a substantial period and covering a wide spectrum of industries. Moreover, foreign investment capital generally will spur economic growth and create better living standards in particular countries. Despite the benefits of FDI, many developing countries fear that by opening up their markets to competition and foreign investment without any restrictions, they will lose control of strategic industries such as the telecommunications sector. Nonetheless, FDI brings technological skills, funds and market competition to the telecommunications industry. In response, many countries create measures and policy requirements to control and guide foreign investment to correspond to their economic and developmental strategies. From an economic standpoint, international investment usually benefits each side but its related legislations internationally and locally are still inchoate. Meanwhile, some multilateral agreements on investment have been negotiated through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Trade Organization (WTO) with built-in restrictions on the time frames for implementation and execution. This article will focus on the tension between the goals of the proposed OECD and WTO multilateral investment agreements and the host countries’ economic strategies.