UNCTAD has been actively monitoring the increase in the number of bilateral treaties for the promotion and protection of foreign investment (BITs). The number of BITs increased dramatically during the 1990s. Their number rose from 385 in 1989 to a total of 2,265 in 2003. They now involve 176 countries.Quick links: | Quantitative Data on BITs |
UNCTAD has conducted a number of analytical studies on BITs: "Bilateral Investment Treaties 1959-1999" and "Bilateral Investment Treaties in the Mid-1990s". Analytical information on BITs has also been provided over the years in the World Investment Report Series.
BITs form only part of the international network of investment rules, which also include other bilateral, regional and multilateral trade agreements with investment provisions.
The Compendium on International Investment Instruments is now searchable on-line by keywords, country/region, categories (multilateral, regional, bilateral, non-governmental and prototype instruments) and dates. It seeks to provide a faithful record of the evolution of instruments relating to investment.