‘Will globalisation continue, or recede?’ New foreign direct investment guide explores impact of Covid-19 and geopolitical upheaval

Practical online comparative Global Legal Post guide for businesses and their advisers features contributions from array of top firms


The Global Legal Post today launches an online comparative jurisdictional guide which examines the impact of Covid-19 and geopolitical upheaval on foreign direct investment (FDI). 

The Law Over Borders online guide The New World of Foreign Direct Investment explores how key jurisdictions are responding to the erosion of the post-war consensus favouring globalisation and offers practical advice and guidance on what foreign investors can expect to encounter when making investments.

It is edited by Dennis Unkovic, a corporate partner at Pittsburgh firm Meyer Unkovic & Scott and a regular commentator on inbound and outbound investment matters.

The easy-to-use digital format allows readers to quickly assess the FDI regimes of different jurisdictions by comparing contributing authors’ answers to a series of carefully framed questions.  As well as outlining the legal framework for FDI, the guide asks how trade patterns are evolving, whether governments attitudes to foreign investors has become more hostile and what measures they have taken to protect supply chains. 

“We find ourselves at an inflection point,” said Unkovic. “Since the end of WWII, a liberalized trading regime driven by widespread FDI dominated the direction of the world’s economy. Today, many countries find themselves seriously questioning both the benefits and the risks resulting from globalization as national security concerns play an increasingly more important role with politicians and policy makers.”

Contributing firms include: Swaab (Australia), Villemor Amaral Advogados (Brazil), Boyanov & Co (Bulgaria), HHP Attorneys-At-Law (China), Lexia (Finland), Bignon Lebray (France), Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein (Germany), Tripleoklaw Advocates (Kenya), Cuesta Campos y Asociados (Mexico), Brækhus (Norway), K1 Chamber (Republic of Korea), Dentons Zaanouni Law Firm & Associates (Tunisia), EY (UK), and Meyer Unkovic & Scott (US).

The German chapter notes how the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the dependence of domestic companies on other economies thanks to ‘the relocation of entire manufacturing sectors to foreign countries and just-in-time production’ while for the France chapter authors, ‘the tide of ever-increasing globalisation and economic integration is receding’. 

In June 2020, ‘the [Australian] Government announced the most comprehensive reforms to Australia’s foreign investment review framework since the introduction of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975’. However, while the new regime seeks to address national security risks it also streamlines investment in non-sensitive businesses, underlining the continuing need for countries to seek more investment.

Brexit means the UK ‘no longer necessarily offers an attractive “gateway” to the European market’, the UK chapter authors note. However, they add: ‘Although businesses now face higher trade barriers with the EU internal market, the extent to which these present a challenge to export may lessen over time as they become accustomed to the new trade regime. Possible new trade avenues, including those in Asia-Pacific, may also become more attractive to businesses already exporting to the EU, as many of the export requirements will already be familiar.'

Unkovic said: “The war in the Ukraine, escalating military tensions over Taiwan, stubborn inflationary pressures, lower consumer confidence, and a fracturing global supply chain all make the future far less certain. Will globalization as we have known it for over six decades be likely to continue or recede?”

The print version of the guide will be available in May and be officially launched at Luxury Law Summit London, which takes place at the British Museum on 13 June.

The guide is the seventh in the Law Over Borders series, following the launches of ESG, Private Client, Artificial Intelligence, Luxury Law, Fashion Law and Anti-counterfeiting guides. Forthcoming additions to the series include Family Asset Protection, Arbitration, and Commercial Litigation and Crossborder Enforcement. 

Click here to read the guides online or here to purchase print or pdf versions and to pre-order the The New World of Foreign Direct Investment guide. 

For further information about the Global Legal Post Law Over Border guides email associate publisher claudiatan@globalcitymedia.com.

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