India's International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and Sustainable Development: Friends or Foes?

XII Indian Journal of International Economic Law (2020) 1-39

39 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2020

Date Written: October 21, 2020

Abstract

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prominently stress the importance of foreign investment for sustainable development. Yet, International Investment Agreements (IIAs) are frequently perceived to impede the regulatory powers of host states to adopt the sustainability policies necessary to achieve sustainable foreign investment. This article analyzes the Indian IIA landscape on its viability to support the implementation of the SDGs through promoting sustainable foreign investment. It examines to what extent traditional Indian IIAs affect the implementation of sustainability policies and whether the Indian 2015 Model IIA and subsequent IIAs adequately address the adverse impacts of IIAs on India’s regulatory sovereignty to implement its SDGs. The article first surveys the requirements of the UN 2030 Agenda for achieving sustainable development through foreign investment and the present mix of traditional and reformed Indian IIAs that provides the regulatory framework for India’s sustainability policies. Thereafter, it examines how the rules of traditional Indian IIAs on the scope of protection, the substantive IIA guarantees, in particular, the rules on expropriation and fair and equitable treatment, and the rules on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) impact India’s sustainability policies and whether the 2015 Model IIA and the subsequently concluded IIAs can overcome these concerns.

Keywords: Bilateral Investment Treaties, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Sustainable Development, UNSDGs, Investor Obligations, Right to Regulate

JEL Classification: K33, K29, F21

Suggested Citation

Zagel, Gudrun Monika, India's International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and Sustainable Development: Friends or Foes? (October 21, 2020). XII Indian Journal of International Economic Law (2020) 1-39, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3716226

Gudrun Monika Zagel (Contact Author)

University of Salzburg School of Law ( email )

A-5020 Salzburg
Austria
+43-662-8044-3667 (Phone)

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