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Comparative Commentary to Brazil’s Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreements (CIFAs) with Mozambique, Angola, Mexico, and Malawi

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Comparative Commentary to Brazil’s Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreements (CIFAs) with Mozambique, Angola, Mexico, and Malawi

Unlike traditional bilateral investment treaties (BITs), which are geared toward investor protection, Brazil’s Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreements (CIFAs—or ACFIs in their Portuguese acronym) focus primarily on cooperation and investment facilitation.

They promote amicable ways to prevent and settle disputes and propose state–state dispute settlement as a backup; notably, they do not include provisions on investor–state arbitration. The Brazilian approach therefore offers an alternative to governments that wish to reduce unintended risks of arbitration while finding ways to settle disagreements that may arise with investors. This note compares the first four CIFAs concluded and provides an overview and a critical legal commentary of their texts, followed by suggestions and recommendations for existing and future CIFAs.