Gloria M. Álvarez
Reporter on the International Arbitration Case Law

International investments between developing countries and foreign investors are an essential activity for the growth of any economy. Investment transactions contribute immensely to utilize resources in a more efficient way by achieving benefits for the government hosting the investment. Economical, environmental, political, legal and even cultural facts interact in all international investments; thus disputes between the host state and the investor have always existed and are a latent possibility.

In accordance with the World Bank proposals and in response to the absence of an institution specialised on the administration of investment disputes in 1966 the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was founded. The creation of the Centre by the World Bank has been an incentive for the investment community, especially because it provides a set of accurate provisions carefully drafted, ‘so as to blend the procedures of the common law with those of the civil law’. ICSID has improved the atmosphere of settlement of investment disputes. This can be seen through, the increasing amount of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) where consent to arbitrate under ICSID can be found. So far, more than 2,400 BITs contains ICSID arbitration as a forum choice among other arbitral institutions.

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