On October 27 students and faculty of the OSCE Academy had the opportunity to discuss bilateral invesment treaties (BIT) and the practice of investment protection in Central Asia with Dr. Lise Johnson, Head of Investment Law and Policy, at Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Investment.
In her presentation Dr. Johnson touched upon standards of conduct under BITs, and the pros and cons of signing such treaties both for the governments and international investors, including the underlying practice. The participants learned that the absence of bilateral investment treaty does not cause much of a problem as investors tend to organize their relations through a country with which the country of investment has a BIT. Then, in case of legal dispute, that BIT applies.
The participants of the lecture gained familiarity with the recent practice and understand that irresponsible statements of politicians are often taken into account in ensuing arbitration processes. Threatening investors with nationalization, expropriation, confiscation or criminal consequences may be costly for the state.
During Q&A session students raised questions about investment litigations in Central Asia and also „solve” a few cases.