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Title: Entry of foreign investments : convergence of international trade and investment law?
Author: Lubambo De Melo, Murilo Otávio
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 9312
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The thesis analyses how public international law regulates the entry of foreign investors and investments into states. It explores the various legal concepts and techniques to limit the freedom of states to accept investments and regulate their access, employed in different regimes of international law. These are: international trade law - mainly illustrated by the WTO (World Trade Organisation) agreements, in particular, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and preferential trade agreements (PTAs) - and international investment law (IIL) - scattered through a network of bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The thesis concludes that there are signs that the international rules regulating the entry of investments in services are converging in several levels of alignment and treaty making. Convergence means a reduction of non-shared legal and systemic characteristics or an increase in shared characteristics. Several factors support this conclusion: the progressive incorporation in treaties of establishment rights for investors, that is, commitments by states to allow foreign investments under certain conditions; the narrowing-down of investor-state dispute settlement clauses dealing with entry, which makes IIL systemically closer to international trade law regarding dispute settlement; the hidden liberalising power that flows from the broad interaction of the most-favoured-nation (MFN) clauses in the GATS and IIL with entry provisions; and, the incorporation of concepts and techniques from the international trade law world into investment chapters of larger international economic agreements, such as the GATS absolute standard of market access and its system of exceptions and justifications. These converging signs are considered a natural evolution of the rules given that trade and investment sometimes represent complementary market access strategies in the context of global value chains. The thesis suggests that this move towards convergence may bring about more effectiveness to the rules by attaining the goal of investment liberalisation balanced with the safeguard of regulatory space.
Supervisor: Eeckhout, P. ; Paparinskis, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available