As the contentious global dialogue concerning investment protection and international investment agreements (IIAs) continues, USCIB remains on the front lines fighting for adequate protections for investors in a world increasingly reliant on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). USCIB Vice President, Investment and Financial Services Shaun Donnelly spent the week of February 22-27, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium leading a delegation of business experts at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stakeholder consultation on the review of the Policy Framework for Investment (PFI); and in Geneva, Switzerland, leading a small but vocal business contingent at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Experts Group on International Investment Agreements.
At the OECD session, which was co-hosted by the European Commission, USCIB argued for pro-investment, pro-business policies and dispelled concerns about the adverse impacts of investment and the need for greater government involvement. USCIB is working closely with the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD to provide comprehensive and detailed comments on the PFI revision; a final version of the PFI is expected from the OECD following the March 16-20, 2015 meeting of the Investment Committee in Paris.
During the Experts Group on International Investment Agreements at UNCTAD, Donnelly lead a small team of USCIB’s international partners (BDI, VNO of Netherlands, MEDEF of France, and Business Europe) in defending the current system and model for IIAs, as well as specific measures included in investment protections, particularly investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) protections.
“We in business are the real users of International Investment Agreements; we invest,” Donnelly said in his remarks to the Experts Group. “IIAs mitigate and reduce risk, which is, of course, the real challenge to investment and specifically to foreign direct investment, and we believe that IIAs work well to do just that.”
USCIB will represent members at the March 15-20, 2015 meeting of the OECD Investment Committee and the corresponding meeting of the BIAC Investment Committee.