Assessing the relevance of multilateral trade law to sovereign investments: Sovereign Wealth Funds as “investors” under the General Agreement on Trade in Services
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The variety of investments made by powerful Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) is often directed to the globally booming service sector which is regulated by the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This paper analyses the scope, substance and procedural rights which may benefit SWFs. The basic principles of World Trade Organization (WTO) law provide a legal framework for regulating SWF investment while the members’ specific commitments may provide significant liberalization. These positive elements for SWFs are tempered by the existence of exceptions and the relative shortcomings of state-to-state dispute settlement in the WTO and the lack of retroactive remedy. However, the paper shows that far from being perfect and complete, the GATS provides an international basis for SWFs to devise their investment strategies and an ideal forum in which to obtain further liberalization in current negotiations.
- International Review of Law [67 items ]