This article explores the cooperative endeavours of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the area of investment liberalisation. Investment liberalisation is variously associated with net positive effects on inflows of investment capital, technology transfer, employment, export generation, economic growth and development. As a net historical beneficiary of investment flows, the article hypothesises that ASEAN's stated commitment to investment liberalisation should by now be realising progress in each of four areas: (1) absolute reductions in national autonomy in relation to investment screening and conditionality provisions; (2) increased transparency in respect of member states' national investment regimes; (3) enhanced standardisation and codification of regulatory standards governing investment-related provisions across member states; and (4) enhanced centralised coordination and decision-making in respect of investment governance. Each of these areas is investigated in relation to ASEAN's three primary investment agreements and the ensuing regimes that govern investment provisions and policy practices among member states. Copyright © 2012 Australian Institute of International Affairs.
CitationJarvis, D. S. (2012). Foreign direct investment and investment liberalisation in Asia: Assessing ASEAN's initiatives. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 66(2), 223-264. doi: 10.1080/10357718.2012.642297