India's International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and Sustainable Development: Friends or Foes?

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The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
prominently stress the importance of foreign investment
for sustainable development. Yet, International Investment
Agreements (IIAs) are frequently perceived to impede the
regulatory powers of host states to adopt the sustainability
policies necessary to achieve sustainable foreign investment.
This article analyzes the Indian IIA landscape on its viability
to support the implementation of the SDGs through promoting
sustainable foreign investment. It examines to what extent
traditional Indian IIAs affect the implementation of sustainability
policies and whether the Indian 2015 Model IIA and subsequent
IIAs adequately address the adverse impacts of IIAs on India’s
regulatory sovereignty to implement its SDGs. The article first
surveys the requirements of the UN 2030 Agenda for achieving
sustainable development through foreign investment and the
present mix of traditional and reformed Indian IIAs that provides
the regulatory framework for India’s sustainability policies.
Thereafter, it examines how the rules of traditional Indian IIAs
on the scope of protection, the substantive IIA guarantees, in
particular, the rules on expropriation and fair and equitable
treatment, and the rules on investor-state dispute settlement
(ISDS) impact India’s sustainability policies and whether the
2015 Model IIA and the subsequently concluded IIAs can
overcome these concerns.
Translated title of the contributionIndiens Investitionsschutzabkommen und Nachhaltige Entwicklung: Freunde oder Gegner?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-39
Number of pages39
JournalIndian Journal of International Economic Law
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 505 Law


  • Bilateral Investment Agreements, Sustainable Development, UNSDGs, investor obligations, host state right to regulate, investor-state dispute settlement

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