Making Foreign Investment Safe: Property Rights And National Sovereignty

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Oxford University Press, 2007 - Law - 378 pages
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With real case stories, Wells and Ahmed bring to life both the hopes for and the failures of international guarantees of property rights for investors in the developing world. Their cases focus on infrastructure projects, but the lessons apply equally to many other investments. In the 1990's inexperienced firms from rich countries jumped directly into huge projects in some of the world's least developed countries. Their investments reflected almost unbridled enthusiasm for emerging markets and trust in new international guarantees. Yet within a few years the business pages of the world press were reporting an exploding number of serious disputes between foreign investors and governments. As the expected bonanzas proved elusive and the protections weaker than anticipated, many foreign investors became disenchanted with emerging markets. So bad were the outcomes in some cases that a few notable infrastructure firms came close to bankruptcy; several others hurriedly fled poor countries as projects soured.
In this book, Louis Wells and Rafiq Ahmed show why disputes developed, point out how investments and disputes have changed over time, explore why various firms responded differently to crises, and question the basic wisdom of some of the enthusiasm for privatization. The authors tell how firms, countries, and multilateral development organizations can build a conflict-management system that balances the legitimate economic and social concerns of the host countries and those of investors. Without these changes, multinational corporations will lose profitable opportunities and poor countries will not gain the contributions that foreign investment can make toward alleviating poverty.

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Contents

Introduction
3
State Takeover of Infrastructure 19671980
19
Foreign Investment in a Risky Environment
21
Copyright

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About the author (2007)


Louis T. Wells is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at the Harvard Business School. His research has focused on foreign investment and development; his principal consulting activities have been concerned with foreign investment policy and with negotiations between foreign investors and host governments.
Rafiq Ahmed is a retired academic and manager. He did postdoctoral research at the Harvard Business School and taught and managed international programs at Tulane University's Freeman School. He was a business manager for 28 years, primarily with the Exxon Corporation. He was also president of the Management Association of Pakistan and vice chairman of the Executive Committee of the Indonesian Institute for Management Development. In retirement, he divides his time between Houston, Texas, and Sydney, Australia.