Asia’s Changing International Investment Regime: Sustainability, Regionalization and Arbitration, Julien Chaisse, Tomoko Ishikawa and Sufian Jusoh (eds),
Springer, 2017, xii + 260pp, ISBN 978-981-10-588, 120 Euros
Reviewed by: Luke Nottage and Ana Ubilava (University of Sydney Law School PhD candidate)
This 14-chapter book published in late 2017 provides a succinct and quite comprehensive overview, as well as some detailed analysis, of key developments and themes in the rapidly evolving field of Asia-Pacific international investment treaties. It is particularly useful for readers in the antipodes, given for example Australia’s emphasis on concluding bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and especially more recently Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with investment chapters, with counterparties in the Asia-Pacific region. Although the book’s title refers to “Asia”, several chapters refer to foreign direct investment (FDI) and treaties extending around the Pacific Rim, as well as some developments in Central Asia (a very different sub-region to South or especially East Asia).
The editors’ short Introduction, comprising helpful chapter summaries, explains that the book derived from the recent “rapid evolution of the international investment regime in the Asia-Pacific region”. It aims “to help predict the future regulatory framework in the region, and how the regional trends affect the development of global rules for foreign investment” (p1). Part I sets the scene by outlining “regional trends in an evolving global landscape”, including a growing concern about rebalancing FDI and treaties to promote sustainable patterns. Part II focuses on the “regionalization of investment law and policy ”, especially key intra-regional treaties concluded recently or under negotiation. Part III ends by asking whether we will see a trend “towards a greater practice of investment arbitration in the Asia-Pacific?”. The backdrop is that treaties and FDI flows are triggering somewhat belated, but nonetheless sometimes controversial, increases in both inbound and outbound investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims involving Asian states or investors.
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