International Investment Law and Taxation: From Coexistence to Cooperation

Date period
26 January 2016

Implemented jointly by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative convenes world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business, and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development.

Tax treaty law and international investment law prima facie appear to be two different worlds and two separate legal regimes. However, they largely overlap, as evidenced by the rising number of cases brought before investment tribunals related to tax disputes. This paper demonstrates that there is a need for better designed international rules and policies on tax and investment that would make these areas of the law complementary. In addition to providing an overview of the current international tax regime, the paper identifies the major areas of interaction and overlap, examines tax as a potential barrier to investment and cross-border trade, and addresses a number of practical questions related to this risk. It offers a number of recommendations to help address the future challenges to tax and investment policy.