EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement: Blue Print for a Permanent Investment Dispute Resolution System?

von Peter Bert

While everyone is busy discussing TTIP and the pro’s and con’s of Investment Arbitration as we know it, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced on December 2, 105 that European Union and Vietnam had concluded the negotiations of a free trade agreement: “The EU and Vietnam finalise landmark trade deal.”

As part of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, Commissioner Malmström’s statement goes on to say, “Vietnam has (…) agreed to accept the EU’s new approach on investment protection – in particular a permanent investment dispute resolution system with an appeal mechanism.” The European Union is expected to publish the free trade agreement in full over the next couple of weeks. The arbitration community will then be able to see how exactly the mechanism has been designed.

The German government appears to be in favour of the new Approach. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs had commissioned Professor Krajewski, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, to draft a model investment protection treaty that provided for disputes between the investor and the host state to be heard exclusively by a public international court based on the rule of law with judges appointed by the contracting parties. The text with explanations in English can be found here ...

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