Spain and Colombia sign new BIT

The prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the president of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, signed a new BIT on September 16, 2021. Both countries sought to modernize the previous treaty, which had come into force in 2005.

Since the entering into force of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, which placed FDI at the level of EU-level competence, the EC has been charged with negotiating IIAs with non-EU member states. Thus, the Spanish government reportedly had to obtain authorization from the EC in order to carry out these negotiations and to ensure that the new agreement was aligned with EU objectives and principles.

On the Colombian side, the negotiations followed a decision from the country’s Supreme Court that ruled that the government must clarify the scope of the FET and non-discrimination standards in the Colombia–Israel FTA and Colombia–France BIT (see our analysis of that decision here). Some features of the new BIT include:

  • Holding companies are not considered investors
  • MFN treatment cannot reach into other treaties
  • ISDS will be replaced by the multilateral court once this enters into operation