Foreign Investment Current Affairs - 2020

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Claims against India under Bilateral International Treaty dismissed

The Bilateral International Treaty organization, an international arbitration tribunal recently dismissed all the claims against India.

Highlights

The claims against India was brought the organization by private firms in Cyprus and Russia. The claims were under Agreement between Government of Russian Federation and Cyprus for promotion and protection of investments. The claims have now been dismissed completely.

Bilateral Investment Treaty

BIT is an agreement that was established for FDI. It allows countries to set up rules for investments between each other. The treaty is the successor of the 19th century friendship, commerce and navigation treaty.

The first BIT was signed between Pakistan and Germany.

BIT ensures that foreign investors are treated equally as that of domestic investors. This is because, foreign investments are restricted by governments to promote domestic entrepreneurs. For instance, US restricts foreign investment in only 5 sectors and China restricts foreign investment in 100 sectors.

Significance

India entered BIT in the mid-90s. It is important for India to sign BIT to make conditions favourable for foreign investors. While most of the treaties in the world focus on ‘most favored Nation’ treatment, BIT treats foreign countries equally.

India and BIT

According to the data of Ministry of Finance, India has so far signed BIT with 75 states. Out of these 66 are already in force and 9 are yet to be entered into force. India has signed 40 BITs with less developed and developing nations.

As every other country, India has set its own BITs clauses. BIT clauses of India is not the same for all the countries. The most important feature of India’s BITs is that it does not provide right to make investment in India to the signatories. Every investment has its own rules fixed by India.

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Global Bio-India Summit: India’s first largest biotechnology conference

India’s largest biotechnology conglomerate was held in New Delhi between 21 November, 2019 and 23 November, 2019. The event was organized by the Department of Bio Technology under Ministry of Science and Technology along with BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) and CII.

Highlights

The summit provided opportunity to exhibit the bio technological advances in the country to the international forum. The Minister of S&T, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare released a report on “Private Investment in Biotechnology” at the summit

Highlights of the Report

The report highlighted the need for the government to find why there is inadequate private investment in the biotech research. It suggested the setting up of a single window system for approvals in the field of biotechnology.

The GoI has set a target to make the biotechnology sector as a 100 billion USD industry. The report  wanted the government to encourage industry-academia linkages in order to achieve the target set

Significance

The Biotechnology sector is considered as the sunrise sector of an economy. In India, experts believe that it is the key driver of the country’s economy and will play a major role in achieving India’s 5 trillion USD target by 2025. This is because the sector has a potential of contributing 22% of 12 billion USD of Indian trade by 2025.

The summit acted as a platform to showcase the potential of India in the sector. The summit also helped to identify key challenges in the areas of Bio-agri, bio-pharma, bio-industrial, bio-services and bio-energy.

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