Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 11/2012

Law at two speeds: Legal frameworks regulating foreign investment in the global South

Lorenzo Cotula

June 2012

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment


The global legal system regulating foreign investment in lower-income countries is more geared towards enabling secure transnational investment flows than it is towards ensuring that these flows benefit people in recipient countries. There is a need to improve national and international law safeguards for rights that may be affected by investment flows, and to strengthen local capacity to exercise those rights and get a better deal from incoming investment.