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The Role of International Investment Agreements in Attracting Foreign Direct Investment to Developing Countries

image of The Role of International Investment Agreements in Attracting Foreign Direct Investment to Developing Countries

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Executive summary

Against recurrent concerns that international investment agreements (IIAs) are not effective enough in promoting inflows of foreign investment, the objective of this study is to reassess the impact of IIAs. Since they are a key instrument in the strategies of most countries, in particular developing countries, to attract foreign investment, policymakers need to know what role these treaties actually play and to what extent they can contribute to receiving more investment from abroad. Equally important is the question of whether the impact of IIAs on investment inflows also depends on the specific type of investment treaty concluded. A better understanding of the influence of IIAs on foreign investment can help to avoid unrealistic illusions, assess the costs and benefits involved and prepare the ground for more effective systemic host country policies that give IIAs their proper place in an overall strategy of attracting foreign investment and making it work for development.

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