Chapter 15: Foreign Investment Regulation and Treaty Practice in New Zealand and Australia: Getting it Together in the Asia-Pacific?

in International Investment Treaties and Arbitration Across Asia
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This chapter reveals many similarities and occasional differences in New Zealand and Australia concerning their laws on fdi screening and current approaches towards investment treaties, including the now politically sensitive issue of isds. Australia has been more active in concluding standalone bits, in light of considerably more outbound fdi (and a few claims now by its investors, notably against India and Indonesia), as well as somewhat more innovative in investment treaty drafting – although both Australia and New Zealand now largely follow the us approach epitomised by the Trans Pacific Partnership (tpp). Australia has also been subject to a high-profile isds claim, over tobacco plain packaging (2012–6), which has combined with political configurations in its bicameral parliament to complicate its contemporary approach to isds-backed treaty commitments. This recent caution may bring it closer to New Zealand’s overall trajectory, thus opening the way towards even closer collaboration to exert ‘middle power’ influence over existing and future treaty negotiations in the Asian region.

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