On 3 February 2021, the CIArb Egypt Branch jointly with CRCICA organized a webinar titled “Investment Treaty Reform in Times of COVID-19: A Policy Perspective”. The speaker was Mr. Hamed El Kady, International Investment Policy Officer, Division on Investment Enterprise, at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The event was moderated by Prof. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Attorney at Law and Chairman of the CIArb Egypt Branch.
The webinar addressed the importance of reforming existing international investment agreements (IIAs) in times of COVID-19. It highlighted the growing need to safeguard public policy objectives required to face the Pandemic while limiting the risk of facing investment claims. The webinar also discussed IIAs provisions that need to be urgently reformed in light of the IIA Reform Accelerator issued recently by the UNCTAD, and how UNCTAD could enhance its support to developing countries to help them reform their IIAs.
The webinar included an interactive discussion with participants, and allowed for polling surveys on a number of critical issues, including on specific recommendations for countries wishing to maintain a strong legal framework for investment while ensuring their right to regulate in the public interest. A number of real life examples were shared, including the formation of inter-ministerial task forces in a number of countries to reform IIAs while ensuring coherence with national development strategies and national laws and regulations on investment.
240 participants attended the webinar from: Angola, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spain Switzerland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA and Zambia.