WTO Investment Facilitation is approaching a stabilized negotiating text

The members of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative (“JSI”) on Investment Facilitation for Development have completed two more rounds of negotiations, with one taking place in November, and another from December 14 to 16. During the November meeting, members progressed on several issues, most notably agreeing to a definition of authorization, the inclusion of streamlined provisions on home state measures, and the supplier development program. A number of outstanding issues remain, however, including agreeing on the scope of the overall agreement; clarifying the definition of investments; determining the levels of ambition for the articles on Movement of Business Persons and Responsible Business Conduct; and agreeing to the scheduling deadlines for the Special and Differential Treatment provisions. The co-coordinators of the JSI process have stated they would like to arrive at a single stabilized text by the end of the year. It has yet to be determined whether members managed to come to an agreement on the outstanding issues during the December meeting, so as to achieve the ambition set by the co-coordinators.