Calls for a level playing field are a growing challenge for trade and investment treaty policy makers. At the 5th annual OECD Investment Treaty Conference, governments, stakeholders and experts debated how level playing field concerns interact with investment policy.
Pressures for a level playing field have emerged from an evolving environment for multinational investment. Key evolutions include increased government competition for investment and concerns about delocalisation; the development of state-owned enterprises as major international investors and concerns about competitive neutrality; greater attention to business and investor responsibilities with regard to human rights; and growing inequalities in many economies.
As demands for a level playing field have intensified in this new environment, several aspects of investment treaty policy have become more controversial or important. Participants at the 2019 conference examined:
A concluding session identified issues and views raised in the discussion and considered potential ways forward.
The conference brought together senior policy makers and investment treaty negotiators from around the world for exchanges with leading representatives of business, civil society, academia and international organisations.