Multilateral Agreement on Investment Pdf

The Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) was a proposed international agreement that aimed to liberalize investment and protect the rights of investors in participating countries. The negotiations of the MAI began in 1995 and involved more than 29 countries, but it was eventually abandoned in 1998 after facing widespread criticism.

The MAI was intended to be an extension of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, which focused on trade liberalization. The MAI aimed to remove barriers to investment and facilitate investment flows between countries by standardizing investment procedures and protecting investors` rights.

The MAI negotiations were conducted in secret, and the draft agreement was only made public in 1997 after a leak. Critics of the MAI argued that it would give too much power to multinational corporations and undermine the sovereignty of participating countries. They also argued that the MAI favored the interests of developed countries and would be detrimental to developing countries.

The controversy surrounding the MAI led to widespread protests and opposition from civil society organizations, labor unions, and some governments. In 1998, France withdrew from the negotiations, citing concerns about the agreement`s potential impact on social and environmental standards. Shortly after, other countries also withdrew from the negotiations, and the MAI was eventually abandoned.

Although the MAI was never adopted, the negotiations and the controversy surrounding them sparked an important debate about the role of investment in international trade and the need for more balanced and equitable policies. Today, investment agreements continue to be negotiated between countries, but there is a greater awareness of the need to protect the rights of workers, communities, and the environment while promoting investment flows.

If you are interested in learning more about the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, you can find the draft agreement online in PDF format. While the MAI may be a thing of the past, its legacy continues to shape the global investment landscape and the ongoing debate about the relationship between investment, trade, and development.