India, along with some other countries, has rejected an informal proposal made by the EU and Canada to work towards a multilateral pact on investments at the World Trade Organization that would have an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism built into it. Read more on Investments
“The EU and Canada have got into an investment agreement in which they have got the much contentious ISDS which allows corporates to take sovereign governments to international arbitration. They now want it to be the template for a multilateral agreement. We have rejected it completely”, said Commerce & Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
The proposal for a global investment agreement was made at an informal breakfast meeting between the Trade Ministers of select countries in Davos last week (second week of January 2017). Along with India, Brazil, Japan and Argentina have also rejected the proposal.
“It is only after all options for settling disputes between a sovereign government and a corporate in domestic courts have been exhausted do we want to allow the issue to be taken up in international courts. It should be part of a bilateral agreement and not a multilateral agreement”, Sitharaman said.
The EU, in a bilateral meeting with India, had indicated that it wants to hold free trade talks with India but added that it would be done, only after concluding a new bilateral investment treaty with India.
“I went to ask the EU Trade Commissioner when the free trade talks could start. She said that they were keen to get the investment agreement negotiated”, Sitharaman said.
Last year, New Delhi had requested all the countries with which, India has investment protection agreements, including the EU, to renew those agreements by drafting a new draft text of BIT. None of the countries had responded, including the EU and the existing BITs with those countries is set to expire in the month of April, this year. Read more on Startup News