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Title: Foreign direct investment and related legal development in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar
Other Titles: Zai Jianpuzhai, Liaoguo, Yuenan ji Miandian de wai guo zhi jie tou zi ji you guan de fa lü fa zhan qing kuang
在柬埔寨, 寮國, 越南及緬甸的外國直接投資及有關的法律發展情況
Authors: Byrne, Michael John
Department: School of Law
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Investments, Foreign -- Law and legislation -- Southeast Asia
Notes: CityU Call Number: KNC747.B87 2005
Includes bibliographical references (leaves [423]-448)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2005
xiii, 504 leaves : col. map ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: When Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar (formerly Burma) abandoned their failed socialist economic policies in the late 1980s, they began a process of legal and economic reforms, anticipating economic growth and integration into the world economy. Each country heeded the advice of the international financial institutions, and conventional theory, which saw foreign investment in the developing countries as a catalyst for change, generating essential development capital, new technology, access to markets, and local employment. Each enacted new investment laws, and selectively entered into bilateral investment treaties and (when they became ASEAN member states in the 1990s) the ASEAN Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Investments. The orthodox theory holds that, by providing capital with a stable and predictable environment, such laws and treaties encourage foreign direct investment. This thesis assesses the results of these reforms and explores whether, and how far, foreign investors in these countries actually considered the suitability of these national legal systems, investment laws, and the application of treaties when making their investment decisions. Foreign investments in these countries carried a high degree of legal and political risk. In the 1990s, the national laws, the related regulatory procedures, and the national courts did not generally meet the commercial needs of investors. Similarly, the rules of international law in bilateral investment treaties, the ASEAN Agreement, and the international conventions did not apply to most investments. Even where they did apply, they did not adequately protect investors’ interests, especially when states failed to honour pre-entry investment guarantees. Investors could not, therefore, rely on the existence of a full legal framework to support and protect their investments. Law provided weak protection in an environment of high political and economic risks. Yet investors continued to invest, and international commercial activity flourished. When they did invest, investment-related laws and regulatory procedures seem to have been of less importance than compromise, networking and deriving advantage from (often corrupt) relationships with officials.
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