Investment policy

2021 Conference on the future of investment treaties


29 March 2021 12:30-15:00 CESTVirtual event

Since the heyday of investment protection treaties in the 1990s and early 2000s, the world has changed dramatically. Societal expectations about what is appropriate, acceptable and fair continue to evolve. Globalisation and digitalisation have radically changed how economies function as well as where and how firms operate. New threats to life on earth have come to the fore, most prominently climate change, along with pollution, food security, depletion of natural resources, and loss of forests and biodiversity.

Fundamental changes to the landscape within which international investment takes place call for a reflection on how best to regulate such investment. Which regulatory objectives and priorities for international investment exist today? How do these objectives interact? Which regulatory instruments are most appropriate to further these goals and how should they be designed? Specifically for this Conference: What is the future of investment treaties in this new environment?

The OECD-hosted investment policy community has resolved to reflect on these questions as part of an ambitious, wide-ranging reconsideration of investment treaty policy and the purpose of international rules on investment in the 21st century.

The 2021 OECD Conference on Investment Treaties is the first step in this process. It brought together a wide community of senior policy makers from more than 60 economies for exchanges on these fundamental questions with leading representatives of business, civil society, academia and international organisations.




Background note on potential avenues for future policies



2020 - Business responsibilities and investment treaties

2019 - Investment treaties and level playing fields

2018 - Treaty shopping and tools for investment treaty reform

2017 - Evaluating and enhancing outcomes of investment treaties

2016 - The quest for balance between investor protection and governments’ right to regulate

2015 - Investment treaties: Policy goals and public support




Public consultation on business responsibilities and investment treaties

OECD Freedom of Investment Roundtable

OECD work on international investment law

The Future of Investment Treaties


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