Pretoria: South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies on Sunday arrived in Geneva, Switzerland to attend the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD’s) Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD),
The event will be held on Monday in conjunction with the 59th session of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board (TDB).
The theme of the discussion is “Towards a new generation of investment policies for sustainable development”.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry today’s discussions will focus on the current challenges for making national and international investment policy work better for sustainable development.
The UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD) was officially launched on 12 June 2012 and on 26 July 2012 it was launched in South Africa, by Davies and James Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD.
At the launch Minister Davies announced that Cabinet has instructed that all “first generation” Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), which South Africa signed shortly after the democratic transition in 1994, many of which have now reached their termination date, should be reviewed with a view to termination, and possible renegotiation on the basis of a new Model BIT to be developed.
Davies said that this was in line with a three -year Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) review that was concluded in 2010.
According to him, Cabinet understood that the relationship between BITs and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was ambiguous at best, and that BITs pose risks and limitations on the ability of the Government to pursue its Constitutional-based transformation agenda.
Some of the speakers for today’s event include her Excellency Anabel Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals and UNCTAD’s Secretary General in commenting the 2012 World Investment Report devoted to a new generation of investment policies.