The Investment Chapter in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Enhanced Rules without Enforcement Mechanism
This paper examines the legal rules in the investment chapter in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It starts with an overview and summary of the main provisions in the chapter, followed by an assessment of the rules by comparing established free trade agreements (FTAs), especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. In particular, it notes that the chapter, whilst largely following the established approaches to investment in other FTAs, also includes important twists to the common rules to favour the host states. The last part discusses the conspicuous absence of an investor–state dispute settlement mechanism, its pros and cons, and wider implications on regional integration, then concludes with some thoughts on future developments.