Foreign Direct Investment : Rules Versus Discretion

  • Alan A. Tait
Conference paper


What can we learn about making international rules governing foreign direct investment (FDI) from existing practices? The only truly global rules on investment at present are incorporated in the Articles setting up the World Trade Organization (WTO).2 These seek to reduce distortions and impediments to international trade, and to increase investment security when setting up establishments to gain market access by establishing a framework of transparent and enforceable rules within the ambit of a rules-based institution. However, outside trade circles, these WTO rules are not widely known, appreciated or understood; they tend to be complex and selective, yet their potential relationship to the proposed OECD rules on investment is important for the future development of international investment. An informed debate on foreign direct investment should not take place without an appreciation of these issues and the difficulties and options they present. Some lessons may be drawn.


Foreign Direct Investment Uruguay Round Bilateral Investment Treaty World Trade Organization Member World Trade Organization Agreement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan A. Tait
    • 1
  1. 1.Geneva Office of the International Monetary FundGenevaSwitzerland

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