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After Turkey’s Election—What Next?

Since becoming Prime Minister in 2000, now-President Recep Erdogan has consolidated power and led his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to a 13-year majority position in the Parliament.  Yesterday, however, they got 41% of the vote, and failed to achieve an outright majority.  The reasons, implications and uncertainties this raises are very important.  How Erdogan … Continue Reading

India’s Investment Treaties – Will the Government Reject a Core Standard of Investment Protection?

Almost all of the more than 3,000 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) in existence offer foreign investors the protection of “fair and equitable treatment” under international law.  India’s new draft model BIT does not.  In place of the well-established standard of protection, which has been interpreted and applied in hundreds of prior investment arbitrations, the model … Continue Reading

Revamping India’s Bankruptcy Laws: A Way Out of India’s Bad Debt Problem

Despite recent improvements in India’s economic stability, the hangover from India’s credit fueled boom isn’t over yet.  Estimates of the percentage of bank loans that are “impaired” — where repayment of the loan is classified as doubtful — run as high as 9%.  Following the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, India joined countries … Continue Reading

India’s Changing Insurance Market

Growth in India’s insurance market has been hampered by a lack of capital, and also a lack of consumer demand.  The two problems are related: with the market still dominated by large, government-linked companies, insurance products have not always been effectively promoted by stakeholders. This in turn has left individuals and small businesses unaware of … Continue Reading

Global Infrastructure Investment — Getting Investors Off the Sidelines

Power shortages in India, transportation costs in Africa, the poor grades given to US infrastructure, pollution in China, and the devastation to old and sub-par infrastructure in places like Nepal when disaster strikes are clear reminders that the world needs more and better infrastructure.   Infrastructure is the talk of governments, of bodies such as the … Continue Reading

The Net Neutrality Debate in India

Net neutrality has become a hot button issue, not only in the United States, but worldwide. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the content’s source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Supporters of net neutrality worry that powerful … Continue Reading

Prospects for Iran Sanctions Under the April 2 Nuclear Framework

There are no changes in the application of US sanctions against Iran as a result of the framework parameters regarding Tehran’s nuclear program announced on April 2.  Additional sanctions relief will come only if there is a final agreement concluded among Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany, and the European … Continue Reading

Prospects for Doing Business With Iran

My colleague Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat has posted a masterful overview of the Framework understanding that Iran and the P5+1 have reached, including an assessment of the issues to be addressed in transforming the Framework into a binding international agreement.  In this posting. I identify five international and diplomatic signposts on which Western companies interested in … Continue Reading

The Iran Framework Agreement: Structure and Open Issues

The framework agreement reached at Lausanne is much more extensive than the November 2014 interim agreement, which froze Iran’s nuclear program in place, in return for modest sanctions relief (around $7 billion annually). Although it has no binding legal impact, the framework is much more detailed. It is an outline for an eventual binding agreement. … Continue Reading

A New World Bank?

The “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank” (AIIB) was  launched by China in 2013.  It only became headlined in the world press this month when the United States publicly criticized Britain for announcing its participation. Indeed, soon after Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, stated that the UK would be among the “founding members” of AIIB, the … Continue Reading

India’s Tax Proposal: Beneficial For Business

Many western consumer firms operating in India have been successful at adapting to the country’s unique market challenges, which range from distinct consumer tastes and preferences to the logistical challenges of reaching a population that is still overwhelmingly rural.  Taxation and regulation have often been less pliable obstacles, as demonstrated by the deep resistance to … Continue Reading

Increased Investment in India?

One of the items at the top of President Obama’s agenda in India this week is the long-delayed U.S.-India bilateral investment treaty (BIT).  Such a treaty was proposed by the President during his 2010 visit to India, but the proposal got little traction with the prior government.  It is likely to do better with the … Continue Reading

India intensifies reforms to attract foreign investment

Over three months have passed since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, and the economic relationship between the United States and India continues to strengthen over time.  On December 3rd, the Modi government announced the creation of a panel to help fast-track investment proposals coming from the United States.  The panel … Continue Reading

ITC Report Focuses on U.S. Trade and Investment in India

On December 22, 2014, the U.S. International Trade Commission released its report on Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy.  Prepared at the request of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees, the 450-page report highlights the substantial growth in U.S. economic engagement with India since 2007, trade … Continue Reading

Indonesia — Can it Unleash Needed Investment?

Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) is sending strong signals about how he wants to position the country as a self-sufficient, regional power.  He laid out reform priorities in November to CEOs from APEC countries: 1) simpler, faster investment licensing; 2) higher but cleaner and more efficient tax collection; 3) cuts in the country’s massive … Continue Reading

The Root of Middle East Turmoil

Iranian jets struck ISIL targets in Iraq, according to a senior U.S. defense official.  What makes this report so bizarre is that it means the Iranians are working toward the same objective, destruction of ISIL, as their avowed enemy, the Great Satan, according to Iran’s Supreme Leader.  Here is one more indication that companies doing … Continue Reading

India’s Fight Against “Black Money”

In the run-up to Prime Minister Modi’s election campaign last year, focus was placed on the fight against corruption and “black money” leaving India. Black money is cash that has not been declared or taxed and is usually held in tax havens, such as the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland and the Channel Islands. It is … Continue Reading

Evaluating Foreign Investment Restraints in China

As we have written previously, China is engaging in simultaneous bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiations with the United States and the European Union. Indications are that the Chinese government is taking these negotiations very seriously. This presents the most significant opportunity for foreign investors in China to influence market access restrictions and other restraints on … Continue Reading

India is Open for Business

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States, set to start in New York on Friday, September 26th, is pregnant with expectation — though a number wonder if the Prime Minister’s PR machine is in overdrive.  The Prime Minister’s visit is not just hype; it will be both symbolic and substantive.  Modi’s message to the … Continue Reading

Senator Carl Levin on American Foreign Policy in Iraq

While members of Congress, the news media, and the American public debate the merits of President Obama’s new strategy to confront ISIS in the Middle East, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, participated in a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday on this topic.  Kaitlyn McClure of Covington’s … Continue Reading

Next Steps in Iraqi War

Events are moving quickly in the Middle East, and much has changed since the last blog post on Iraq over a week ago.  During that time, ISIS has been engaged in multiple fronts across Iraq.  It continues to battle the Iraqi army, Shiite militias, and the Kurdish fighters known as peshmerga in the north.  The … Continue Reading