WTO Agreement on Investment Facilitation for Development is finalized

On July 6, 2023, more than 110 WTO members reached a significant milestone, as the finalization of the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement’s (IFDA) text was announced. The IFDA is one of the WTO joint statement initiatives and, if it is adopted, will become the second WTO agreement that explicitly regulates investment (the first is the 1995 TRIMS Agreement). The IFDA’s text aims to make sure that traditional investment governance issues, such as investment protection, investor–state dispute settlement, and investment market access, are outside the scope of the agreement. This recent ITN piece analyzes the extent to which the agreement operationalizes the sustainable development imperatives. In addition, IISD has recently published three articles (here, here, and here) focusing on the content of the agreement and the way ahead, in particular the question of integrating the agreement in the WTO legal architecture and the needs assessment studies for developing countries and least developed countries.