31 Cornell Int'l L.J. 467 (1998)
Towards a Multilateral Agreement on Investment

handle is hein.journals/cintl31 and id is 475 raw text is: Towards a Multilateral Agreement
on Investment
Dr. Rainer Geiger*
Introduction
In May 1995, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) launched negotiations for a Multilateral Agreement
on Investment (MAI). These negotiations were unprecedented in scale. For
the first time a group of countries accounting for the bulk of international
investment sought to develop a comprehensive set of rules on investment
liberalization, investment protection, and dispute settlement.1 The MAI
negotiations have generated enormous public debate on the impact of for-
eign investment and the challenges of globalization. To provide a more
thorough discussion of outstanding issues of the MAI, the OECD Council
of Ministers announced on April 28, 1998, a period of assessment and
further consultation between the negotiating parties and with interested
parts of their societies.2
This Article discusses the rationale and objectives of the MAI and
responds to concerns raised in public debate.
I. Rationale and Objectives of the MAI
Since the 1960s, rapid expansion of international investment has accompa-
nied slow but steady progress in the development of an international
framework of rules for investment.3 The OECD played a pioneering role in
this development. The OECD's Codes of Liberalisation of Capital Move-
ments and Current Invisible Operations (Capital Movement Codes) paved
the way to the removal of capital account controls and other obstacles to
* Deputy Director, Directorate for Fiscal, Financial and Enterprise Affairs,
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Associate Professor of Law,
University of Paris I (PanthEon-Sorbonne).
1. Most foreign direct investment (FDI) is still occurring in the OECD area. Only a
very small percent of total world capitalization exists in the developing countries and
emerging markets, while a majority of global FDI has gone to industrialized countries.
See ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD), FOREIGN
DIREcT INVESTMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: LESSONS FROM SIX EMERGING ECONO-
MIES (1998).
2. OECD, Ministerial Statement on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)
(Apr. 28, 1998) <http://www.oecd.org/news-andevents/release/nw98-50a.html> [here-
inafter Ministerial Statement].
3. For an overview of developments in the international law on investment, see R.
GEIGR, UN CADRE MULTILATfRAL DE VLINVEsTIssEMENT, LE ROLE DE L'ETAT DANs LE DEVEL-
OPMENT DE L'ECONOMIE 552 (1997).
31 CORNELL INT'L LJ. 467 (1998)

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