Update on Investment Screening – October 2021

Japan – Notification obligation for investments in critical minerals

The Ministry of Finance as well as other Ministries confirmed that foreign investors of three new “core business sectors” that plan to invest in critical minerals will be required to file a prior notification from 5 November 2021 under new rules in the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act. These sectors include metal mining (including the operation of mineral exploration vessels or land/underwater surveys for mining), manufacturing, repair/maintenance or software for devices or products used for metal mining (including mineral exploration vessels, marine equipment, excavators and drilling machines) and component analysis services of minerals

If you are interested in further information regarding the notification obligation and the amendments, you may have a look here.

Gabon – Preparation of new Investment Law

A task force on the promotion of private investments has elaborated a draft of a new investment law for Gabon. The idea is to make Gabon more attractive and more competitive, especially since the country has recorded a constant increase in foreign direct investment since 2016. The new investment law shall replace the Investment Charter of 1998 and includes three major innovations: a motivation for businessmen to invest in the interior of the country where all the infrastructures are lacking, the accompaniment of investors already established and the incentive by performance and no longer by tax exemptions.

Academic Papers – Journal of World Investment & Trade, Special Issue: National Security, Private Actors, and Political Risk: Judicial and Non-Judicial Responses

In a special issue of the Journal of World Investment and Trade, three articles “focus on how the potential for invocation by States of national security to deny foreigners economic opportunities impacts the relationship between State autonomy and international economic law and the choices of economic actors when no, or only unreliable, protection of their economic interests is provided, and what mechanisms exist or can be devised to minimize the political risk implications of measures taken in the name of national security.” (Intrdoduction by Stephan W. Shill and Geraldo Vidigal)

You may have a look at the articles published in “The Journal of World Investment & Trade, Volume 22 (2021), Issue 4” here.

Research Paper – “The Big Screen: Mapping the Diffusion of Foreign Investment Screening Mechanisms”

Sophie Meunier and Sarah Bauerle Danzman describe key features in the evolution of foreign investment screening mechanisms and suggest an agenda for further research in order to analyse the findings in greater detail.

You may have a look at the research paper here.