UST Law Journal EIC Lecture: Innovative Strategies for Conflict Management
Running a business is inherently risky, and the level of risk increases exponentially when investing across borders. Yet investors leave the comfort of their countries looking for resources or opportunities they cannot find domestically.
When investing abroad, those in the private sector not only face the difficulties of doing business in an alien and unfamiliar regulatory environment, but they also confront risks and uncertainties regarding the actions of governments and political institutions, as well as social groups and separatist movements. Recent research shows at least one fourth of investors in developing countries discontinue their investment projects long before they consider invoking any form of dispute resolution because of the political risks derived from government conduct.
Effective investor-state conflict management mechanisms can enable investors to mitigate the political risks derived from government conduct. In this way, both governments and investors can work together to begin forging and maintaining mutually beneficial business relationships. Only once the relationship between the investor and the state is strengthened, can the global economy attain higher levels of growth.
Within this context, this one-day interactive workshop will: (1) bring together global experts and business leaders to discuss current challenges and opportunities affecting foreign direct investment (FDI); (2) discuss the latest empirical data and innovative approaches implemented at the World Bank to retain and expand foreign investment; and (3) engage foreign investors in an interactive conversation about the practical implications and impacts of the options discussed for the way forward.
Meg Kinnear (World Bank) – Vice President of the World Bank Group (WBG) and Secretary-General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
Roberto Echandi (World Bank) – Lead Private Sector Specialist in the Trade Unit of the Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice of the World Bank Group (WBG)
8:30–9 a.m. | Continental Breakfast and Registration
9–9:15 a.m. | Opening Remarks
9:15–9:45 a.m. | Keynote Speaker: Meg Kinnear (World Bank), Current Developments in International Investor-State Dispute Resolution: Challenges and the Way Forward
9:45–10:30 a.m. | Keynote Speaker: Roberto Echandi (World Bank), Investors' Perspectives on the Impact of Irregular Government Conduct: Recent Empirical Evidence
10:30–10:45 a.m. | Q & A
10:45–11 a.m. | Coffee Break
11–12:00 p.m. | Panel Discussion: Investor-State Conflict Management: Implementation and Perspectives from Stakeholders
Panelists will include Mariana Hernandez-Crespo Gonstead (St. Thomas Law, IDRRN and ICSID), Reagan Demas (Baker McKenzie), Laura Dachner (Merck & Co., Inc.) and Dongwook Chun (WBG)
12–1:30 p.m. | Lunch
12:30–1:30 p.m. | Panel Discussion: From Where We Are to Where We Are Heading: Alternative Means of Problem Solving for Foreign Investors and Host States.
Panelists will include Susan Frank (American University Washington College of Law), Karl Sauvant (Columbia University) and Katia Yannaca-Small (Arbitration Expert)
1:30–1:45 p.m. | Coffee Break
1:45–2:45 p.m. | Panel Discussion: What are International Organizations Doing on Investor-State Conflict Management?
Panelists will include Frauke Nitschke (ICSID), Alejandro Carballo-Leyda (International Energy Charter) and Judith Knieper (UNCITRAL)
2:45–3:15 p.m. | Conclusion Round Table: The Way Forward
Meg Kinnear (ICSID), Mariana Hernandez-Crespo Gonstead (St. Thomas Law) and Roberto Echandi (World Bank)
3:15–3:45 p.m. | Wine and Cheese Reception
To make an