Posted by: mulrickillion | August 2, 2011

The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement: Realizing a Regional Community

By Zewei Zhong, Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore

Asian Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 6, Iss. Art. 4 (2011)


In recent decades, States have concluded numerous regional investment treaties, even as the feverish growth in bilateral investment treaties worldwide continues apace. This increasing regionalism within international investment law is a double-edged phenomenon. On the one hand, the risks of fragmentation and incoherence increase exponentially as a regional layer is added to the already-messy “spaghetti bowl” of investment treaties. The noble dream of a uniform, multilateralized set of investment-protection standards thus looks ever more unattainable. On the other hand, a regional investment treaty affords an opportunity for a group of States to balance, in a particularistic manner, between investment-related obligations and other non-investment priorities. This essay focuses on the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement signed in 2009, arguing that it is a region-specific bargain embedded within ASEAN’s wider normative and institutional framework. The potential conflicts between ASEAN Member States’ investment-related obligations and their commitments under two other regional projects are explored, and recommendations are made as to how arbitral tribunals can manage such conflicts.

Recommended Citation

Zhong, Zewei (2011) "The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement: Realizing a Regional Community," Asian Journal of Comparative Law: Vol. 6: Iss. 1, Article 4.
DOI: 10.2202/1932-0205.1294
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