This online symposium is the outcome of a workshop on ‘GVCs, Trade and Development’ hosted by the Kent Law School and IEL collective in July 2020 and supported by the British Academy (Grant no. MD19\190020). The workshop engaged with the policy research literature produced by the World Trade Organisation and World Bank since 2013, in particular their Global Value Chain Development (GVCD) reports of 2017 and 2019.
The world of commerce after this pandemic will change significantly and controlled by those countries and blocs whose industries, research, trade and technology are robustly resourced and positioned to take advantage of the new market of knowledge, utilities and essential commodities of life. Access to trade finance is predicted to be the fundamental contrasting issue between developed and developing countries. Trade facilitation to move value-added products and services more efficiently across borders to other parts of the world must inform the thinking and planning of governments in the short and medium-term.
The Guide should better take into account that land deals and their potential negative impacts go beyond contract law, and require a more consistent incorporation of human rights and environmental law. Even though strengthening legal frameworks and standards at national and international level might be outside of the Guide’s scope, it needs to be clear about the institutional and legal context that is required to protect and guarantee human rights, as well as the importance of cooperation between states, including needed regulations in commercial and administrative law at national and international levels.
The huge investments in the extractive sector should, in principle, be a catalyst for economic growth, job opportunities, and development. Often, these investments have been a source of environmental degradation, socio-economic malaise and despair. Equatorial Guinea, for instance, is a classic example of the ‘resource curse mystery in Africa. To leverage extractive resources for development, African countries are faced with legal, fiscal, implementation, infrastructure, regulatory and institutional challenges. This contribution addresses state and investor responsibility in the sustainable development of Africa’s extractive sector. It highlights four responsibility indices that will guide states and investors in fostering a shared value approach to an inclusive and sustainable development of Africa’s extractive sector.
Rudahindwa’s contribution lies in his articulation of the need for institutions and legal frameworks to reflect these multiple objectives of African RECs. In this regard, he ably demonstrates how the specific objectives of NAFTA, ASEAN, MERCOSUR and the EU have informed the nature of the institutions that manage their respective organisations and their legal frameworks, including how they address issues such as the relationship between the laws of the organisations and their member states, the bindingness of agreed commitments and laws, and dispute settlement.