Israel’s foreign investment protection regime in view of developments in its energy sector
Title: Israel’s foreign investment protection regime in view of developments in its energy sector
Author: REICH, Arie
Series/Number: EUI LAW; 2017/02
This paper discusses the foreign investment protection regime and policy of Israel, analyzes the central features of its bilateral investment treaties (BITs), and argues that time has come to use these treaties as a tool to attract foreign investment to the country, in particular in the energy sector. It shows that until now, BITs have been concluded mainly with developing and transition-economy countries and as a means to protect Israeli investors in those countries. This policy has been based on the perception that only developing countries with politically unstable regimes and corrupt or non-independent judiciaries need such treaties, while Israel can rely on its good reputation of being a democratic state, based on the rule of law, with a free-market economy and a well-reputed judiciary to attract FDI. The paper argues that not only is this viewpoint incompatible with current trends in International Investment Law where more and more BITs are concluded between developed countries, it must also be revised on the background of what has occurred in Israel over the last few years in the energy sector. The paper describes the long saga of the regulatory changes in relation to the natural gas sector, ever since huge offshore gas fields were discovered, including the Supreme Court’s rulings on the changes of the tax regime and on the stabilization clause, and analyses its impact on the investment climate. The paper presents original data on this impact and suggests policy recommendations based on the analysis of the situation.
Subject: Foreign investment protection; Bilateral investment treaties; Stabilization clause; Regulatory instability and FDI; Natural gas sector
Type of Access: openAccess