Table of contents
After already declining dramatically in the previous two years, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into OECD countries continued to slip in 2003. Direct investment into North America was particularly hard hit, whereas flows from OECD countries toward developing and emerging economies held up well. The first article in this year’s International Investment Perspectives analyses the trends.
Russia has so far not received much investment beyond the energy sectors. This edition releases the findings of an OECD Investment Policy Review of Russia, which notes an improvement of the country’s investment climate, but concludes that more should be done. Priority areas include a relaxation of remaining obstacles to FDI, policy coherence, privatisation policies and the fight against corruption.
An article reviews ASEAN countries’ experience with luring investors by means of special incentives. It concludes that investment incentives may have proliferated in the region, but that they have not become more generous. It casts doubt on whether such policies have produced sufficient benefits to justify their budgetary costs.
Regional and bilateral investment agreements have proliferated over the last decade, raising questions about the mutual consistency of commitments. The present issue includes two articles examining aspects of this, namely the overall relationship between international investment agreements and the challenges that may arise when countries are party to several agreements including most-favoured nation treatment clauses.
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