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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09GENEVA237 2009-03-19 17:01:00 UNCLASSIFIED US Mission Geneva
Cable title:  

UNCTAD - Vietnam Investment Policy Review and Latin

Tags:   UNCTAD ECON EINV EFIN 
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					  UNCLAS GENEVA 000237 

SIPDIS

DEPT for IO/EDA, EEB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNCTAD ECON EINV EFIN
SUBJECT: UNCTAD - Vietnam Investment Policy Review and Latin
American investor-state disputes: demand-driven assistance

REF: GENEVA 00233



1. Summary: On the margins of UNCTAD's first multi-year expert
meeting on investment for development (reftel), UNCTAD showcased two
pillars of its work: technical assistance through an Investment
Policy Review (IPR) of Vietnam; and consensus building through an
Ad-Hoc experts meeting on the Feasibility of an Advisory Facility on
International Investment Law and Investor-State Disputes for Latin
American Countries. Vietnam won praise for its opening to direct
foreign investment and efforts to improve its investment
environment. The Ad-hoc experts meeting provided a forum for Latin
American countries to discuss investor-state disputes. End Summary

Vietnam Investment Policy Review


--------------------------





2. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held
two side-meetings on the margins of the larger experts meeting on
investment agreements, February 10-11, 2009, in Geneva. At UNCTAD's
Investment Policy Review of Vietnam launched by the Vietnamese
Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Hoang Trung Hai, Wes Scholz (Director,
Office of Investment Affairs, US State Department) represented the
United States joining other delegations in praising Vietnam's
opening to Foreign Direct Investment over the last twenty years and
the dramatic economic growth Vietnam achieved over the same period.
Scholz praised UNCTAD for its high quality report that thoroughly
covers Vietnam's current investment climate and makes clear
practical recommendations on ways to improve it. He commented that
the United States sees this sort of UNCTAD activity as answering the
G8 call for UNCTAD to engage countries in the development of best
practices for creating institutional environments conducive to
increased foreign direct investment and sustainable development.



3. In five years, UNCTAD will review Vietnam's progress in
implementing recommendations contained in the Vietnam IPR, so the
fanfare with which the report was launched will be followed by
accountability for implementation. UNCTAD has completed Investment
Policy Reviews for 25 countries. Each IPR is done at the behest of
the government under review and provides an evaluation of a
country4s legal, regulatory and institutional framework for Foreign
Direct Investment, with a view to attracting increased foreign and
direct investment to the country and maximizing the benefits from
it. UNCTAD has completed five-year follow-up reviews in nine of the
25 countries and is currently conducting the five-year follow-up
reviews on 7 more countries. UNCTAD has concluded reports in Egypt
and Uganda on the implementation of IPRs completed and is preparing
a report on the IPR implementation in Ghana. All UNCTAD's Investment
Policy Reviews are available on the UNCTAD website.
Consensus Building


--------------------------





4. U.S. delegation members also attended the Ad-Hoc Experts Meeting
on the Feasibility of an Advisory Facility on International
Investment Law and Investor-State Disputes for Latin American
Countries, to which the US and Canada were invited as observers.
Experts discussed the growing number of investor-State disputes in
Latin America and the desire in many Latin American countries for a
low-cost, high quality legal advisory center that could assist Latin
American states in meeting the challenges posed by international
arbitration cases. Some delegates expressed the view that more work
should be done to help countries develop prevention strategies that
keep Investor-State disputes from going to international
arbitration. Other delegates agreed, but stressed that prevention
activities would not obviate the need for a legal advisory center,
perhaps modeled after the WTO trade dispute advisory center, that
could provide assistance to countries once disputes have gone to
international arbitration.

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