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What are BITs?
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Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are agreements between two countries for the reciprocal encouragement, promotion and protection of investments in each other's territories by companies based in either country. Treaties typically cover the following areas: scope and definition of investment, admission and establishment, national treatment, most-favoured-nation treatment, fair and equitable treatment, compensation in the event of expropriation or damage to the investment, guarantees of free transfers of funds, and dispute settlement mechanisms, both state-state and investor-state.

For the past decade, UNCTAD has been actively monitoring and analysing the increase in the number of bilateral treaties (BITs) for the promotion and protection of foreign investments. A Compilation of about 1,800 available BITs is now accessible via a double-entry search engine.

Last updated: 17 August 2004 16:13