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This chapter charts developments in Southeast Asia concerning regional economic integration through the conclusion of plurilateral trade and investment agreements. It examines the early steps towards achieving economic integration, including the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) in 1967, and the progressive steps that Southeast Asian States have taken to liberalise their economic and investment policies through the ASEAN framework. It then considers various recent and ongoing developments in regional economic integration, including the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and its revival as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership, the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ongoing negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement. It concludes with the observation that many innovations in the negotiation of IIAs are emerging from the practice of ASEAN and other Asian States which are having broader implications on the field of international investment law.
Although the substantive content of international investment law has traditionally been shaped by the capital-exporting States of Western Europe and North America, this dynamic has been gradually changing, with Asia and Asian States increasing in the prominence of their roles. Asia has become a global growth engine in recent years, and Asia has become a focal point in rule-making in international investment law. This is evidenced by the number of mega-regional and investment agreements which have been concluded in recent years which have Asia as their centre of gravity, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which have built on the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement. To this can be added the practice of individual States, such as Singapore and Vietnam, in negotiating investment protection agreements with the EU, as well as the Singapore Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation which placed Asia at the centre of developments in international commercial law. This chapter surveys the rich terrain of State practice in international investment law, and introduces the various chapters of this edited collection, which illustrate the Asian Turn in Foreign Investment.
This collection critically discusses the increasing significance of Asian States in the field of international investment law and policy. Consisting of contributions authored by a leading team of scholars and practitioners of international investment law, this volume contains analyses of both national and multilateral investment law rule-making in Asia, including a critical discussion of certain States' approaches to balancing the different tension between investment protection and the preservation of States' regulatory sovereignty. It also contains thematic chapters on cutting-edge developments which are of relevance to Asia as well as the global community, such as investors' obligations of due diligence, additional transparency in treaty-based investment arbitration responses by ASEAN member States to transboundary haze pollution, and the relevance of human rights obligations in international investment law. It also contemplates future possibilities for investor-State dispute settlement, including the use of investor-State mediation in view of the Singapore Convention on Mediation.