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RCEP, FDI and the 2030 Agenda: How the RCEP Investment Chapter Could Help Achieve the SDGs?

The conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a milestone for regional economic integration in the Asian-Pacific Region. It is of interest to study whether and how the RCEP, especially its investment chapter and investment facilitation provisions could help its members realize the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This report first reviews the relevance of international investment agreements (IIAs) to sustainable development, and discusses the RCEP preamble and the relevant substantive, procedural and exception provisions for assessing the compatibility of the RCEP with sustainable development. It then focuses on RCEP investment facilitation provisions, analyzing their potential roles and inadequacies in helping RCEP members pursue the SDGs. It concludes that, despite the merits of RCEP Investment Chapter and the investment facilitation provisions, further legislative, institutional, capacity building and implementational efforts are needed to fully realize the potential of the RCEP Investment Chapter in promoting sustainable development.

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