World Investment Report (WIR) 2015: Reforming International Investment Governance

By UNCTAD, June 2015

The WIR presents global investment trends in 2014, indicating that global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows fell by 16 per cent to US$1.23 trillion. FDI flows to developed countries continued to be low, while flows to developing countries increased by 2 per cent to a historic high of US$681 billion, with China as the largest recipient. FDI inflows to Asia increased by 9 per cent to historically high levels, while inflows to Africa remained flat, and inflows to Latin America and the Caribbean decreased by 14 per cent. In the policy realm, government measures continued to be geared towards liberalization, promotion and facilitation. There were relatively few measures for investment in sectors important for sustainable development. The search for reform of the international investment regime continued, as at least 50 countries and regions conducted reviews of their treaty models. The number of investor–state arbitration cases rose by 42 in 2014, bringing the total number to 608. Decisions were rendered in 43 cases, bringing the number of concluded cases to 405. Recognizing the need for systematic reform, UNCTAD suggests focusing on: (1) safeguarding the right to regulate in the public interest, (2) reforming investment dispute settlement, (3) promoting and facilitating investment, (4) ensuring responsible investment, and (5) enhancing the systemic consistency of the regime; the report also presents policy options for meeting these challenges. Finally, the WIR discusses international tax and investment policy coherence, the fiscal contribution of multinational enterprises, and the issue of tax avoidance. Available at