Investment Provisions in Regional Integration Agreements for Developing Countries
Investment is a major determinant of economic growth, both in reference to the level of the capital stock and its productivity, but has been deficient in poor developing countries. A particular concern for poor countries has been relatively low levels of foreign direct investment (FDI), and a low impact of such investment on growth. The paper focuses on sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries and on FDI to cover four issues related to measures to promote investment: the types of investment measures included in bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements; evidence for effects of provisions on investment, especially FDI; the type of regulatory and business environment most conducive to growth-enhancing investment; and the implications for ‘best practice’ in promoting investment, in particular measures that can be incorporated in regional agreements. Investment provisions can be used to serve a number of purposes - investment promotion and cooperation, liberalisation and market access, and investment protection – and evidence suggests that their incorporation in agreements does increase foreign investment.
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