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U.S., Rwanda Ratify Bilateral Investment Treaty

Thursday, December 08, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that the U.S. and Rwanda ratified a bilateral investment treaty Dec. 2. The BIT, the first the U.S. has signed with an African country in nearly a decade, will enter into force Jan. 3, 2012.

According to a USTR press release, the U.S.-Rwanda BIT provides investors with legal protections that include non-discriminatory treatment of investors and investments; the right to freely transfer investment-related funds; prompt, adequate and effective compensation in the event of an expropriation; freedom from specified performance requirements, such as domestic content or technology transfer requirements; and provisions to ensure transparency in governance. The treaty also gives investors in all sectors the right to bring investment disputes to neutral international arbitration panels.

USTR Ron Kirk said the BIT will “enhance the confidence of U.S. investors in Rwanda” and “help to promote the new investment that is critical to Rwanda’s economic development.” Kirk added that the U.S. sees Rwanda as “a leader in seeking to transform its economy through open trade and investment” and hopes this BIT “will serve as a model for future agreements with other African countries.”

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