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2015 events

China and the protection of foreign direct investment

Research Seminar
With Axel Berger, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Room S-1.04, Strand Building, Strand Campus, King's College London
4-6pm, Wednesday 4 March 2015

*** All welcome ***


The economic rise of China has probably been one of the most salient developments in the global economic system during the past decades. Against this background, it is commonly argued that the rise of China will have a deep impact on the global economic governance system that has been shaped predominantly by OECD countries. However, it is still an open question as to how China will reshape this system. There are few areas of global economic governance that are better suited to discuss this question than the international investment regime, in which China plays an increasingly prominent role. China has been the main recipient of FDI flows among developing countries and, since the mid-2000s, is becoming an important source country for foreign investments in its own right. China has also been very active in signing international investment agreements during the past three decades. China’s investment treaty practice changed considerably between 1982 and 2012, evolving from a restrictive to a more liberal approach. The central aim of this presentation is to understand and explain the variations in Chinese international investment agreements signed during the past three decades using a policy diffusion framework. Based on extensive field research in China and in its partner countries as well as a structured analysis of Chinese treaties, the presentation will discuss whether China’s role in the international investment regime has been developing from a rule-taker to a rule-maker.

About the speaker

Axel Berger is a researcher at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Department for World Economy and Development Finance. He works on global investment policies, with a focus on emerging markets and developing countries. His current major areas of research are the diffusion patterns and development impacts of international investment agreements. The German Development Institute is one of the leading think tanks for global development and international cooperation worldwide. It is located in the UN City of Bonn. Research at DIE is theory-based, empirically driven and application-oriented.  

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