Enhancing Canada's investment opportunities abroad is essential to Canada's ongoing international competitiveness. Foreign investment links Canadian companies, consumers and workers to the new knowledge based global economy. It enhances Canada's competitiveness by revitalizing domestic industry and increasing the flow of goods and services between Canada and its trading partners. Foreign investment not only produces jobs, but introduces new technology, new management techniques and new market access. Canada has a clear interest in providing for stability, transparency, predictability, non-discrimination and protection for Canadian companies and individuals that invest abroad, as well as for foreign investors wishing to invest in Canada. Good investment rules make for a positive economic climate, which favours growth and jobs. Canada has, therefore, consistently supported a strong, rules-based system, multilaterally, regionally and bilaterally.
The Government is also seeking information on the country-specific barriers and problems that Canadians are experiencing when investing internationally, and on any other aspects of investment policy at home or abroad that you feel require special attention.
At Doha, Ministers recognized the importance of a multilateral framework to secure transparent, stable and predictable conditions for investment, and agreed to launch investment negotiations after the next WTO Ministerial conditional upon an agreement on negotiating modalities. Paragraphs 20-22 of the Doha Declaration set out the mandate for the WTO Working Group on the Relationship Between Trade and Investment (WGTI). The WGTI was established by Ministers during the WTO Ministerial held in Singapore in 1996. It is for this reason that the subject of investment in the WTO context is commonly referred to under the rubric of Singapore Issues. The other three areas that fall under this heading are competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation.
The Heads of State and Governments of the 34 democracies in the Americas, including Canada, have agreed to build a Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA, in which barriers to trade and investment will be progressively eliminated. Through the FTAA talks, Canada seeks to negotiate investment obligations that will serve Canadian interests by providing for stability, transparency, predictability, non-discrimination and protection for our companies and individuals that invest abroad, while allowing for flexibility in areas of key domestic sensitivity.
ARCHIVED - Chapter 11 is the investment component of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which came into force in 1994. It establishes a framework of rules and disciplines that provides investors from NAFTA countries with a predictable, rules-based investment climate, as well as dispute settlement procedures which are designed to provide timely recourse to an impartial tribunal.
The CCFTA entered into force on July 7, 1997. Chile was Canada's first bilateral free trade partner in the Americas outside of NAFTA and Canada was also the first G-7 country to sign a free trade agreement with Chile. Since 1997 economic relations between the two countries have grown immensely and Canada has become the second largest investor in Chile.
A FIPA is a bilateral reciprocal agreement aimed at protecting and promoting foreign investment through legally-binding rights and obligations. FIPAs provide important disciplines that help open international markets and make them more secure for Canadian investors.
The OECD has a mandate to promote cooperation among its members in the area of international investment. It does this by developing and monitoring rules to promote international cooperation and through consultations with representatives of non-member economies, business, labour and other groups. It also undertakes analytical work concerning investment trends and policies.
The activities of APEC's committees and working groups aim to promote regional economic growth and cooperation and build an Asia-Pacific community. APEC groups are working to achieve trade and investment liberalization, the reduction and removal of formal barriers to trade, such as tariffs, and restrictions on foreign investment.
The World Bank created the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in 1966 to facilitate the settlement of investment disputes between governments and foreign investors. ICSID was established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the Convention) which came into force on October 14, 1966. ICSID provides facilities for the conciliation and arbitration of disputes between member countries and investors. Provisions on ICSID arbitration are commonly found in investment contracts between governments of member countries and investors from other member countries, as well as in bilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements, including Canada’s Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA).
On investment, UNCTAD's mandate is to promote understanding on investment, enterprise development and technological capacity building issues, and assists governments to formulate and carry out policies, strategies and programmes in these areas.