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South African legislators approve bill to ‘modernise foreign investment policy’

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Monday, 30 November 2015

South African legislators approve bill to ‘modernise foreign investment policy’

South Africa’s National Assembly has approved a ‘promotion and protection of investments bill’, which the government said is designed to “modernise South Africa’s policy approach to foreign investment”.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the bill showed the country remained open to foreign direct investment, with “strong protection for investors in a predictable investment environment”. The bill is the result of a three-year review of South Africa’s investment regime, the DTI said. The review considered “the nature of about 3,000 international investment agreements (IIAs) and bilateral investment treaties that were signed in the 1990s”. According to the DTI, the IIAs were signed before South Africa’s constitution came into force and provide “very firm guarantees to investors against direct and indirect expropriation, as well as guarantees against fair and equitable treatment”. However, the DTI said the IIAs were “extremely expansive” in the way that they had been formulated and phrased, which “opened doors to litigation”. Over recent years there have been “multiple cases where individual investors have taken governments to international courts”, the DTI said.

Source: Out-Law