World Trade Organization
Abstract Back to top
Much has been recently written about the
Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) that has been negotiated by OECD countries.
Perhaps even more has been said by the critics of those who would like to see an agreement
of this kind extended among other countries. There has indeed been a great deal of
"toing" and "froing" about the desirability of MAI and even
misunderstandings about its merits. The principal question of this paper is whether there
is any need for MAI. There are arguments in favour and against and this paper provides a
short review. On balance, the positive aspects of a multilateral agreement should outweigh
the negative ones. The novelty of the paper is the attempt to address the critical voices.
Given the lukewarm reaction in some countries, it would seem sensible to pay more
attention to these arguments a feature that may only now become something of
pressing need in the light of the difficulties encountered in the OECD negotiations.
Keywords Back to top
Multilateral agreement on investment, WTO, foreign
direct investment, capital flows, development.
JEL codes: [F02], [F21], [F33]
in Word 97 format (109 KB, 20 pages)