Preserving Flexibility in IIAs

The Use of Reservations

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Reservations in International Investment Agreements are a key technique for balancing flexibility of national authorities with international commitments in the field of investment, especially for developing countries. This paper studies the use of such reservations at two levels. First, it assesses the various means that signatories have at their disposal when attempting to preserve flexibility and regulatory autonomy. Second, it explores the revealed preferences for flexibility emerging from the reservation lists of eight International Investment Agreements employing a negative list approach to scheduling non-conforming measures.



Revealed policy preferences: Reservation patterns in selected IIAs

Having discussed the various methods IIA contracting parties can use for scheduling reservations and qualifying liberalization commitments, the study turns to the actual pattern of reservations, as they are found in the sample of negative list agreements. The subsequent analysis maps the investment policy preferences that are revealed by the reservation lists the parties have appended to the sample of eight IIAs. As mentioned above, the sample includes IIAs adopted by countries at various stages of economic development and comprises the following agreements


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