The Brazilian model of Investment Agreements and Socio-environmental Safeguards
With the purpose of contributing to expanding transnational investment flows, Brazil signed, in 2015, a series of Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreements (CIFAs) with African and Latin American countries. Among its provisions, the CIFAs feature distinctive characteristics in terms of direct (and indirect) expropriation, corporate social responsibility, dispute settlement mechanisms and national treatment clauses – ultimately, aiming to provide greater legal certainty for investors. However, civil society organizations have warned against the potential impact of this new model of investment agreements on the autonomy of states to establish regulations in the public interest. As such, this Quarterly Brief seeks to analyze similarities and differences between the new Brazilian CIFAs and traditional bilateral investment agreements – as well as to evaluate them in light of alternative frameworks, elaborated by civil society networks, aimed at balancing investment promotion with human and environmental rights protection.