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Two of the distinguishing features of the law on foreign direct investment (FDI) are its complexity and its creativity. The law on FDI embraces the domestic rules and regulations dealing with foreign controlled business as well as the numerous bilateral and multilateral legal instruments. It is influenced by awards of international arbitration tribunals as well as numerous other sources, and thus undergoes permanent change.
The various actors involved, including transnational corporations, investment promotion agencies, and multilateral donors, as well as lawyers advising foreign investors and financial intermediaries, each follow their own interests. By its nature, the FDI involves the interaction, and sometimes the clash, between different legal concepts of the participants and regulators. Counsels to local governments and domestic partners in a joint venture with foreign companies may not always be accustomed to legal documentation in an Anglo-American or continental European style.
As a result, dealing with FDI requires a learning process for all the actors to understand and manage legal and business cultures. All this elucidates the need for a multi-author book which covers various areas of the law on FDI from different perspectives. This book undertakes a regulatory, policy and transactional approach both on the international and the domestic level. The authors of the book are all concerned with FDI as both academics and practitioners and come from a variety of legal, academic and geographical backgrounds.
The book consists of three parts: first, a general introduction to FDI by Dr. Escher; next, an analysis of the emerging international law on FDI and related areas; and finally, an overview of FDI in a variety of countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. This variety of perceptions and topics should provide the reader with useful insights into international transactional and domestic aspects of FDI.