Qatar has signed more than 50 bilateral agreements aimed at safeguarding and protecting investments abroad, according to a member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Sheikh Dr Thani bin Ali al-Thani said the agreements represent a basic guarantee for all Qatari investors, including the Qatar investment Authority, economic entities, government-owned corporations, and private companies on establishing investments in projects being implemented in other countries. Sheikh Thani stressed on the key role played by international policies in safeguarding foreign investments worldwide, noting that all international organisations and agreements are keen on setting up unified rules to provide equal treatment for all investments without discrimination between local and foreign investors.
“The unified rules will achieve balance between opposed interests of the investor who is willing to functionalise his investments in a country that enjoys modern laws and an attractive investment environment. “Most countries adopted policies that attract and protect foreign investments by providing more guarantees and incentives, while implementing fair legal principles and avoiding any arbitrary measures that may hinder the economic activities,” Sheikh Thani said.
The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was established in 1965 by the World Bank to settle disputes between foreign investors and the host country. Sheikh Thani said that since its inception, the ICSID settled more than 600 different cases, including cases from Arab countries like Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Oman, and Yemen. According to Sheikh Thani, who is also a board member for International Relations of the Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (Qicca), there is a plan by the end of the year to amend the principles of the centre that were submitted to ICSID. The rules were first set in 1967 and were later amended in 1978, 1984, and 2006.
The ICSID adopted many investment principles such as safeguarding investors’ rights, non-discrimination between national and foreign investment, freedom of revenue transfer, and avoiding any arbitrary measures. In addition, ICSID’s mission is based on the countries’ commitment made by signing bilateral agreements to encourage mutual investments. The International Court of Arbitration was founded in 1923 and is one of the most experienced and renowned international arbitration institutions in the world. It operates in accordance with a list of procedural arbitration rules that regulate hundreds of files of disputes of economic, commercial, and banking natures each year.
The ICC was founded in 1919 to serve world business by promoting trade and investment, open markets for goods and services, and the free flow of capital. It acts as a voice for the global business community as a factor of economic growth, job creation, and well-being.
Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times