13 Dec 2023    Books/ Book Chapters
Polanco, Rodrigo

Investment facilitation at the WTO: What's old? What's new? What's missing?

Investment facilitation at the WTO: What's old? What's new? What's missing?

Chapter by Dr Rodrigo Polanco, co-authored with Cristián Rodríguez-Chiffelle, part of the book “The Elgar Companion to the World Trade Organization”, edited by Julien Chaisse and Cristián Rodríguez-Chiffelle, published by Edward Elgar.


The text explores the concept of investment facilitation in international investment agreements (IIAs) and its implications for a potential Multilateral Framework on Investment Facilitation for Development (MFIFD). The variations of investment facilitation provisions among IIAs have made it difficult to conceptualize and converge on its elements, but divergence could be essential in determining desirable facilitation measures for different stakeholders. The potential content of the MFIFD builds on existing measures found in IIAs, particularly on streamlining procedures, removing bureaucratic impediments, transparency, predictability, and institutional arrangements. However, not all provisions have been deemed worthy of inclusion in a multilateral agreement, and discussions have followed a normative rather than a functional approach. The involvement of key stakeholders, such as foreign investors and civil society, is crucial in developing an effective bottom-up approach to address administrative procedures at local levels. Countries’ size matters, especially in federal countries, where it is essential to clarify different authorities' competencies and roles in implementing investment facilitation. Innovation and careful drafting of the MFIFD could minimize the risks of investor-state dispute settlement, creating an agreement that goes beyond extending less risky investment facilitation provisions already found in existing IIAs.

About the author

Dr Rodrigo Polanco

About The Elgar Companion to the World Trade Organization

This comprehensive Companion provides an extensive guide to understanding the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its impact on the global economy. Addressing the challenges facing the WTO amidst a rapidly evolving landscape, the book delves into the diverse trade policies of countries and regions, providing rare insights into their impact on the global trade governance frameworks. Part of the Elgar Companions to International Organisations series

Investment facilitation at the WTO: What's old? What's new? What's missing?