AbstractThe dissertation is aimed at studying the issues surrounding international trade and trade law. In this context the dissertation reviews the role of international trading bodies in the current scenario of international trade that is going through revolutionary changes due to advancement in technology. In the modernized trading scene the role of trading organizations is also gaining more importance with regard to the implementation of law and settlement of disputes between countries with the help of treaties and agreement.
These organizations are providing platform for developed and developing countries to interact and manage their trade relations. Through these organizations developing countries also find out ways to play part in international trade. The dissertation looks at the role of Nigeria in international trade and the measures taken by the country to remain active in the global trade operations. The dissertation mainly focuses on NIPC – Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission that is established by the government of Nigeria with the objective to promote investment opportunities of Nigeria at national and international level. NIPC is an important example of the organizations that work for facilitation and encouragement of trade and investment in developing countries. The dissertation describe the history, objectives, activities and legal framework of NIPC and also compare it with international trade organizations WTO, EU and UNCTAD with respect to their objectives, scope, activities and legal jurisdictions.
Moreover the dissertation also compares the activities of NIPC in comparison with the investment commissions of Australia (ASIC) and Thailand (BIO) because just like NIPC, these organizations were also established to promote investment opportunities in the countries they belong with. BOI work for the promotion of investment opportunities in Thailand and ASIC works same for Australia.IntroductionInternational trade is going through revolutionary changes in the modern world of today as the technological advancement has changes the traditional ways of doing trade and now the countries are adopting modern ways to conduct their trade operations. In this emerging situation the role of international trading bodies is very important and crucial because these originations are not only responsible for promotion and proper commencement of trading activities between the member countries but they have also to review the role and policies of different countries related with the international trade so that the activities of these countries could be kept within the boundaries of international trade laws. Moreover the countries also need a legal system that can help and guide them in conducting trade with other countries hence an important function of international trade organizations is to manage treaties and trade agreements between the countries according to the laws of international trade. One of the main objectives of the international trade organizations is also to support the developing countries to take active role in international trading operations.
Developing countries specially the African countries are facing many problems in putting forward their trade related activities at international level of trading. Organizations like UNCTAD and WTO have the responsibility to support the government in achieving an adequate infrastructure and trade policies that can help these countries to survive within international market place. Some of the developing countries like Nigeria etc are also struggling to survive in the highly competitive market and for this purpose the government of Nigeria had formed Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission that is aimed at promoting the interests of Nigeria related with investment and trade. This organization works at federal level remain involve in different activities that can help the country in getting more foreign direct investment and at the same time NIPC also encourage local investment and enterprise development. The policies and laws formulated by the commission are considered as very significant step towards the promotion of investment opportunities in a less developed country like Nigeria. The dissertation describes different activities and policies of NIPC that are adopted for the promotion of investment in Nigeria and also review the organizational structure and legal framework of the organization. The activities of NIPC are also compared with other investment commissions like the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ASIC and Thailand Board of Investment BOI because just like NIPC, these organizations were also established to promote investment opportunities in the countries they belong with. BOI work for the promotion of investment opportunities in Thailand and ASIC works same for Australia.
Goals of the StudyThe main objective of the study is to review the functioning, legal aspects and constitution of NIPC and compare with other trading bodies that are working for the promotion of trade and investment at international level like WTO and UNCTAD. The organizational structure, activities, historical background and policies of these organizations are also reviewed to get a better understanding of their role in the international trade. The goals of the study are also to analyze the current scenario of international trade, international trade law and the activities and policies of different trading bodies. The goals of the study are:To study the pattern of international trade and international trading lawsTo review the objectives, constitution, legal aspects, organizational structure and scope of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)To compare NIPC with international trading bodies in term of their objectives, roles and legal constitutionsTo review the activities of different organizations that are playing their roles related to the promotion of technology in investment, regional integration and promotion of investment and trade at national or international level.To study the impact of advanced technology on international trade, investments, enterprise development and to point out the changes occurring in international trade due to introduction of technologyTo discuss the objectives, constitution and legal framework of NIPC with WTO, UNCTAD etc and to compare it with European Union EUTo compare the activities of NIPC with the activities of ASIC and BOI – so that the activities of NIPC could be evaluated with the help of comparison with organizations operating at national level like NIPC.Significance of the StudyThe study is based on the review of legal aspects some major issues related with international trade like bilateral agreements, dispute settlement, investment promotional activities, intellectual property rights, etc. The study contains information from the legal perspective as well as from the trading perspective.
This study possesses lot of significance for the individuals and organizations that are associated with the international trade and are concerned with the role, scope and activities of trading organizations because the dissertation study provides noteworthy information about trading organizations like United Nation Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), WTO, EU – European Union, Thailand Board of Investment BIO and Australian Securities Investments Commission ASIC, along with the comparison of their constitution, objectives, activities and legal framework. From the perspective of business and trading this study provides a comprehensive review of the current international trading scenario and the transformations occurred after the implementation of technology in the international trading. Moreover the report also presents a detailed review of the major trading bodies which could be beneficial not only for the students but also for the people who are involved in the international trading or want to become a part of the operations.Research MethodologyThe main purpose of the dissertation is to portray the current scene of international trade scenario and to look towards the role of NIPC in comparison with other investment commissions. This is a qualitative research study because the objective of the study can be achieves through qualitative means of research and any quantitative study method like survey or opinion poll could not be appropriate with the research topic as the goal of the dissertation is to deal with issues, arguments, comparative analysis and historical developments of the organization and not with the figures, calculations and statistical data.
Hence the dissertation is written using qualitative method of research.The qualitative research could be of many types like case study, literature review, natural experiment, participant observation, interviews based, secondary analysis of data or the combination of these. In this dissertation the objective is to explore the issues related with international trade, international trade related organizations and investment commissions so the study is done through conducting a review of all the secondary data available related with the topics of the research. Thus it is a qualitative study that is conducted through “secondary analysis of data.”“Secondary analysis of data is basically to reanalyze the data that is already compiled by other researchers and organizations to meet the requirements of their own study or data base”.
The review and analysis of the secondary data is a critical look at the existing researches and documents related with the topic. It is the summary and analysis of the existing information. The secondary analysis is done to get a deep insight of the issues covered in the dissertation and to collect in depth information about the organizations, their history, objectives and scope along with their role in international trade so that the information collected can be used to describe the background, scope and activities of these organizations in the context of international trade.Secondary sources are used to conduct the study because the topic need information about the issues that can be gathered from documents and journals and does not need opinions and comments of any individual(s) hence the primary source like interviews are not selected for the study because the research objective could not be achieved through interviews. Hence the dissertation is based on detailed information collected from different secondary resourcesResearch Question“To review the activities and role of NIPC at international level by discussing it with objectives and activities of WTO, EU and UNCTAD and to review the activities of NIPC by comparing NIPC with other commissions working at national level like ASIC and BOI”Sources for Gathering InformationFor conducting the study, information is collected through different secondary resources like electronic journals, financial magazines, law journals and magazines, UNTAD documents and some informative web portals.
To review the organizational structure, working patterns and objectives of different trading organizations and investment commissions including NIPC, NAFTA, BOI, ASEAN and UNCTAD, their formal documents, performance reports and policy statements are accessed. The research studies conducted prior to this work are also studied to get a clear picture of the situation Literature ReviewInternational Trade and LawInternational trading is simply “the process and physical actions required to convey ownership of goods between sellers and buyers who reside in different countries”. Jackson, John (2005) highlighted the importance of international trade law for international trade and explained that there is a very deep and strong connection between international trade and law because law has a vital role to play in matters of international trade as trade between countries is done through treaties and agreements formulated under trade law. Almost all the countries of the world including developed countries like America and UK are also becoming more dependent on law for doing trade. This dependency is increasing because international trade is essentially based on treaties and agreements, for which there is essential requirement of the law. International trade law becomes also important in case of any dispute between organizations of different countries. The international trading organizations tend to solve these disputes with the help of international trade law and it is observed that their strategies to solve these issues prove to be very successful.International trade is “the practice of exchange of good and services between different countries”.
When different countries are engaged in cross border trade then these transactions come under the umbrella of international trade.At international level trade has proven it significance and it is observed that in many countries, a large share of GDP is contributed by the international trading transaction. International trade had enjoyed the recognition as an important growth tools from very beginning however advancement in information and communication technology has further enhanced the importance of international trade and in the era of globalization, international trade has become an integral part of the world businesses.
Some countries have also enacted duties and tariffs on conducting trading activities within their borders and the trader company has to pay that tariff moreover the trader should also follow the rules and regulations implemented by that country according to international trade law. However this system was discouraging for promotion of international trade and twentieth century some international organizations came in to existence and started working for regulation of laws in the trading activities among different counties. These organizations include “GATT and WTO”. GATT was established in 1995 with the aim of formulating and implementing international laws and regulations for the international trade and to focus on the matters related to the trade and investment. It consists of the three main principles that are “Most-Favored-Nation Treatment, Market Access and National Treatment”The formation of WTO, NAFTA, SAFTA and ASEAN provide different countries a platform to conduct their trade related activities keeping them aligned with the international trade.
The most important and international level organizations that were established with aim of implementing world trade law, include GATT – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and WTO World Trade Organization. For the implementation and proper regulations of international law, organizations like WTO – World Trade Organization play very important role. The main objective of the formation of WTO is the “liberalizations of international exchanges”. In order to gain this objective, rules have been formulated that are based on the non discrimination principles.
There are two manifestos of WTO’s principle; these are Most Favored Nation Treatment and National Treatment. The Most Favored Nation – MFN treatment is criticized when it is applied to different degree of development of relationships between the countries.The role of international trade law is further enhanced because of globalization and rise of electronic commerce. There is greater scope of international law as there have also emerged some new areas in the international trade law after the mergence of e-commerce, for example the evolution of law for the “Intellectual property right” and for “dispute settlements”. Intellectual Property rights IPR are getting importance in the international trade scenario specially from the last two decade because the advancement in technology has ease the transfer of good as well as ideas from one place to another. IPRs are the rules on how to protect patents, copyrights, trademarks. The IPRs have became a standard component of international trade agreements and in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations (1986–94) where the foundation of WTO was led, the members of the conference also decided to develop the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
The objective of this agreement was to sets out minimum standards of protection that most of the world’s economies must respect. Disputes settlement laws also become important because with the increasing global trade truncations the need to manage their relation effectively also arose. International Trade and TechnologyThe advancement in technology has revolutionized the international trading activities as well. Computers and internet have drawn strong impacts on the trading, investment and other business related activities. For example the advancement in transportation has enabled the traders to transfer good and services in short time of period to a far distant place and the communication technology allows the traders of different countries to keep in instant contact with each other with the help if mobile phone and internet.The impact of technology on the trade can be observed in almost each and every aspect of trade however the new situation has given birth of some very important issues related to Law and Trade after the emergence of advanced technology. One of the main issue arise from the technology in trade is the “Intellectual Property Law” that was generated due to increased competition for the talented labor.
Another important point of concern is the “Trade Secret Law” that is basically subjected to stop the former employees and competitors from the capitalization of their innovations. The law covers two important terminologies including -“misappropriation by memory” and “inevitable disclosure” and the law deal with the matter if an employee can be stopped from using the tactics and knowledge that he secure during his last work experience.Technology has benefited the international trade because with the help of innovative communication and transportation devices the countries can operate their trade activities in effective way.
Moreover the developing countries can also play active role in the international trade as these countries can keep them update with the changes going around the investment world with the help of modern mass media. The developing countries can also use communication devices to build strong trade relations with other countries by negotiating with them and arranging visits of the officials in to each other’s country like the investment promotion commission of Nigeria NIPC not only use different print and electronic means of advertisement for the propagation of investment opportunities in the country but also use to arrange meetings and conferences with the involvement of other countries for example the commission arranged the Best of Nigeria Expo in London and South Africa Made in Nigeria Expo in South Africa. Kamal Saggi (2000) expressed that generally there are two basic factors behind the economic growth and better functioning of international trading system. These factors include improvement in productivity and advancement in technology. The study of Kamal Saggi revealed that all the industrialized countries are running various high level research and development programs and these researches result in the innovation of different technologies. These new technologies are then spread all around the world by using a multitude of channels. In this way technology is transferred through international trade and at the same time these technologies add to the performance and efficacy of international trade.
He further indicated that technological advancements allow the companies to conduct different research and development programs and in this way these entrepreneur become able to gain temporary monopoly power in the market.J-F Courville and Jeremy Armitage (2005) discovered that the modern technology is drawing transforming impacts on investment world and with the help of advanced technological devices the people at the management position of the system can extract more value from markets and in this way they can achieve greater performance in business dealings. Technological advancements have transformed the international trade because with the help of innovative communication and transportation devices like Internet, e-commerce, airways and logistics automation, the trade activities are now done completed in less time with great convenience .Technological advancement has accounted for rise in international trade activities and as a result there is also rise in the FDI flow both for developed and developing countries. The rise in the FDI flow is measured and provided by the UNCTAD in the World Investment Report 2006. It is disclosed that the FDI inflow rose by 29 percent and reached to the amount of $916 billion in the year 2006.
The rise if FDI inflow was 27 percent in the year 2004 that further rise with 29 percent. The FDI flow to the developing countries amounted to 542 billion that was an increase of 37 percent. In the same time there was also a record increase in the FDI flow to the developed countries that amounted $334 billion. In this way the share of the developed countries become 59 percent of the global inward FDI whereas the developing countries are contributing 36percent in the global inward FDI and around 4 percent goes to the South-East Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 3.
International Trading Bodies – The Legal Framework3.1 United Nation Conference for Trade and Development UNCTAD3.1.1 Constitution and Objectives of UNCTADUnited Nation Conference for Trade and Development UNCTAD was established by the General Assembly of United Nations. The establishment occurred under the Resolution 1995 (XIX) of 30 December 1964. UNCTAD was formed with the objective of promoting development cooperation at international level.
As compared with GATT the mandate of UNCTAD is far wider and covers more aspects of international trade.The organizational structure of UNCTAD consists of “Quadrennial Conference, Trade and Development Board, Commission and the Secretariat”. At UNCTAD the highest decision making body is the “quadrennial conference”. The members of the organizations meet in this conference and assess the current issues related with the trade and development. Moreover the conference also held discussions about the trade policies and the expected outcomes of these policies. The work priorities of the organization are also decided in this meeting.
The Trade and Development Board guide the working of UNCTAD. All the member countries of UNCTAD can become member of this board. The board meets on annual basis in Geneva in the regular session whereas the executive sessions are arranges three times a year in which the member stated discuss the ad hoc policies and institutional issues. There are three commissions run under the Trade and Development board which are “The Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities, The Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues and the Commission on Enterprise, Business Facilitation and Development”3.
1.2 Legal Aspects of the OrganizationThe law that defines the principle functions and working area of the organization is the Resolution 1995 (XIX) of 30 December 1964. The paragraph 3 of the resolution is specifically related to the functions of UNCTAD. The paragraph 3 of the Resolution 1995 (XIX) defines the main functions of UNCTAD. It is explained in the paragraph that the organizations has a principle objective of promoting the trade at international level so that the economic development of the countries could be accelerated. Another principle function of UNCTAD is the formulation of the principles and policies for the international trade that can also deal with the related problems and issues of the economic development.
The organization is directed by the law, Resolution 1995 (XIX) of 30 December 1964 to formulate soft rules and laws that can act as moral bindings and can guide the countries about the policies and actions related to the trade and developmental issues. The paragraph 3c of 1995 (XIX) also speaks about the negotiating role of the organization. The organization also plans some actions for creating a negotiable scenario in the trading world with the help of adopting multilateral legal instruments.
In the light of the above functions it could be revealed that UNCTAD has the mandate of serving as a forum that can negotiate for the formulation of soft laws and also about the legally binding instruments.3.1.
3 Role of UNCTAD in International TradeUNCTAD is formed by the United Nations with the basic objective of looking after all the matters related with the integrated treatment of trade and development problems that are face by the member countries of United Nations. In this context the organizations look after the issues related to the “trade, money, finance, external indebtedness, creation of export production capabilities, including industrialization, shipping, insurance, transfer of technology and the development of technological capabilities, restrictive business practices, regional integration groupings and economic co-operation among developing countries”.The Resolution 1995 (XIX) of 30 December 1964 that defines the objectives and functions of the organizations also directs the organization to become a center for the harmonization of trade and other activities that are related with the development.
The organization has to work around the policies of the governments and regional economic groupings. This function is also verified by the Article I of the U.N. Charter.
According to this article UNCTAD should work for the achievement of common benefits of the member counties. On the other hand the member countries are also required to disclose their trade and development policies in different forums and meetings arranged by UNCTAD.UNCTAD is playing a vital role in the international trading scene and now it has become a principle vehicle that articulates and aggregates the coherent framework that facilitates the developing counties in their trade and development related activities. The group of the seventy seven countries called as G77 was also created and maintained by the activities of UNCTAD. The organization is not only concerned with the developing countries but also the developed countries have welcomed the establishment of UNCTAD.UNCTAD has completed more than 40 years of its establishment and during this period there are some very important achievements that are credited to UNCTAD.
The organization has prompted International Monitory Fund IMF to expand its compensatory financial facility. Its all due to the efforts of UNCTAD that issue of additional liquidity created by IMF is linked to the development related activities and this issue is also given importance as UNCTAD projected it at different platforms. UNCTAD also worked to stimulate the discussion in the World Bank on the issue of Supplementary Financing. The World Bank has adopted the strategy of implementing the supplementary financing to support the development process in the developing countries. Moreover the GSP – Generalized System of Preference was also negotiated in UNCTAD.
At present there are different issues that are surrounding the organizations and it has been changed of getting weak in several respects. Some experts believe that now the UNCTAD has lost its negotiating role and the functions of the organizations are now limited only up to the consensus building. In the international trade scenario WTO is seemed more dominant then the UNCTAD and in other areas of functions also there are some other organizations that are performing better then UNCTAD. However along with these weaknesses the role of UNCTAD is remarkable in assisting developing countries to integrate with the world economy and take the maximum advantages from the development occurring in the world scenario as a result of the globalization process.UNCTAD is playing a role in development, developing ideas and approaches that assist the developing countries to survive in the international trade marketplace. UNCTAD has assisted the developing countries in trading operations and from 1995 to 2005 the average GDP growth rate of the developing countries was raised from 40 percent to 50 percent and there is also a rise in the share developing countries in the output of and diversification of their economy and the scope of trade between the developing countries has also expanded to a larger extent.
However some developing countries are working at their own to do better in international trade like Nigeria have established NIPC as a federal level organization for the promotion of trade and investment in the country and the improvement in the FDI and GDP growth of the country is credited also to the performance of this organization.3.2 World Trade Organization – WTOWorld Trade Organization is the international trading body that deals with the laws and rules of the trading operations between the countries. WTO plays an important role in international trade. The organization was established in the year 1995 at Geneva Switzerland on the 1st of January. It is a legal and institutional foundation of the international trading system. At present there are 151 countries that have become the member of World Trade Organization. Tonga is the 151 member of the organizations that joined WTO on the 27th of July 2007.
The head office of the organization is in Geneva and there are more then 450 employees working for the organization. The top level position of the organization is the “Ministerial Conference” that has the authority to take all the decisions related to the trade agreements and disputes settlement between the member countries. The conference is attended by all of its members at least one time in two years. There is a General Council of the organization that assigned duties and responsibilities to other councils of WTO. The other councils of the organization are “Councils for Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, and Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights”.The establishment of WTO took place as a successor of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that was an international trading body looked after the trade related matters since 1948.
WTO was established by including the structure and constitutional framework of GATT, in addition the function and scope of the new organizations – WTO were expanded and many new disciplines are also covered by WTO which were not enclosed in the functions and framework of GATT. Most of the countries that were the member of GATT became the member of the newly established trading body WTO. Along with the former member countries of GATT some other countries also completed the required procedure and became member of World Trade Organization.3.2.1 Constitution and Objectives of WTOThe constitution of the organization is explained in the “Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization” that is also called the Marrakesh Agreement. Marrakech Agreement is the final Act after the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations was signed on 15 April 1994.
This 550 pages document contains all the details regarding the results of the negotiations including the agreement that call for the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO), as a single institution that will encompass the framework of GATT. The agreement also disclosed that the framework of WTO is dependent on the “single undertaking approach” to the decisions made in the Uruguay Round. The agreement further explained that to be member of WTO a country is required to accept and follow each and every decision taken in the Uruguay Round hence the acceptance of the Uruguay Round agreement is the basic requirement for the membership of WTO. According to the Article I – III of this agreement to be a member of WTO it is essential for the countries to “to accord immediately and unconditionally to services and service suppliers of any other Member treatment no less favorable than that it accords to like services and service suppliers of any other country, more over to fulfill the obligations and commitments done in the agreement the member countries shall take such reasonable measures as may be available to it to ensure their observance by regional and local governments and authorities and non-governmental bodies within its territory”The agreement also clarifies the way through which WTO has to build relationship with other countries.
Moreover the agreement also contains the information about the secretariat, budget and contributions, legal status, and decision making and amendment procedures of the organization. The Article III of the agreement informs about the basic functions of the organization that are to work for the improvement of the welfare of the people belong to the member countries of WTO. The improvement should be in the living standard of the people, provision of better employment opportunities and high income etc. The preamble to the agreement stated that the organization has to administer trade agreements between the countries and its has to act as a forum where the member countries not only find the solutions of their trade disputes but also get a forum to negotiate with other countries on several issues related to the trade and law.
There are three committees established within the organization that are directed to report the General Council about their functions and achievements. The three committees of WTO areThe Committees on Trade and DevelopmentThe Committees on Balance of PaymentsThe Committees on Budget, Finance, and AdministrationIn early 1995 there was another committee established by the General Council of WTO i.e. the committee on “Trade and Environment”.WTO has the important function of supporting the developing countries to survive in the international trading scene. The developing countries including the African countries like Nigeria face many problems and supply-side constraints due to inadequate infrastructure and poverty and as a result these countries fail to get benefits from the multilateral trading system. WTO arranges different conferences for the support of these countries.
A recent example is the arrangement of “Aid-for-Trade (AFT)” program that is created in the sixth Ministerial Conference of WTO in 2007. This program is aimed at assisting the developing countries so that these countries can build the infrastructure and supply-side capacity so that they can also take an active role in international trade and can enjoy the benefits of the liberalization that is occurring in international trade in form of low tariff and duties.3.2.2 Role of WTO in International TradeWTO is an important component of international trade and trade law because the trading activities are conducted between countries through different agreements and the WTO agreements secure a prominent position in the international law. The WTO agreements are often called as “WTO trade Rules”, in this contrast the organizations is also called a rules-based organizations means that the system of WTO is based on rules. These rules are actually the agreements that are signed by the governments of different countries. The present WTO system is based on the Uruguay Round Agreements as the organization is also considered as one of the major results of the Uruguay Round trade negotiations.
WTO agreements provide the member countries a mechanism that reviews their trade and economic policies in a broader perspective of international trading scene and also offers the member countries to get engage in several types of agreements that cover wide areas of trading operations like “government procurement, civil aviation, and trade in dairy and bovine meat products”.The WTO agreements related to different trade and investment related activities spell out principles of liberalization. The WTO agreements cover goods, services as well as intellectual property. According to the agreements of the WTO the countries mainly commit to lower down the customs duties, tariffs and other trade barriers so that the international trading market can become open and liberal and can maintain these attributes over the time. WTO through its agreements work out for settling the trader disputed between the countries. One of the main objective of WTO is to convince the countries to make their trade policies transparent and to keep WTO informed about the laws and regulations that they have implemented within the trade regime of their country.
This information is transmitted through the regular reports that are compiled by the secretariat on the trade policies of the member countries. There are three basic principles of World Trade Organization“To provide a forum for negotiations to liberalize the trading system and to open national markets progressivelyTo oversee and enforce rules for the conduct of trade relations among most of the countries of the world; andTo provide a mechanism for members to resolve trade disputes arising in areas covered by the WTO agreements.”3.2.3 Legal Aspects of WTOWTO is considered as an institutional umbrella that is keeping together different disciplines like the “General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994”, “The General Agreement on Trade in Services” and the “Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights”. The World Trade Organization is based on the constitutional framework of GATT and after modifying it encompasses the GATT agreements and procedures for the settlement of the disputes. The single dispute settlement system of the organization is based to the Uruguay Round agreements and it works only in those countries who accepted the obligations of the Uruguay Round agreements.
The Uruguay Round agreements is a name given to the multilateral agreements and ministerial decisions and declaration that provide schedule for the market access commitment for the industrial and agricultural good and services.WTO asks the member countries to follow some specific rules and regulations within their trading operation with other member countries. These principles include the “most favored-nation treatment” that asks the member countries to provide most favorable treatment to the other member countries of WTO. This favorable treatment is to be provided in terms of low tariffs and other trading incentives.
Another principle is “National Treatment” that explained that the countries must treat the imported goods like the domestic goods when the imported goods are placed in the domestic markets. “Protection through Tariffs” disallowed the use of quantitative restrictions in the trading operations means that the member countries must give away the quota system in trade. The “Dispute Settlement” principle gives the member countries an option to file complaints against other countries that violate the WTO agreements.4. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission – NIPC4.
1 Nigeria, International Trade and WTONigeria is the most populous country of Africa with the estimated population of more then 130 millions people. The country gained independence in 1960 and attained the status of republic in 1963. The country possesses huge natural and mineral resource and with the capacity of producing more then 2 millions barrels of oil per day it has become the leading oil producer country of Africa. Nigeria plays a major role in the New Partnership for Africa Development NEPAD – that was established by the African leaders with the objective of promoting a common vision and a shared conviction that the African countries will work individually and collectively to find a way for the sustainable growth and development and to promote the participation of African countries in international trade. At the 36th Heads of State and Government Assembly of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) held in Algeria, in 2000 the member countries including Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa were asked to develop a socio-economic framework to support the development of the African countries. In the next summit of OAU, the framework of the organization was formally endorsed. NEPAD is now a program that is run by the African Union (AU).
It has its own secretariat based in South AfricaThe international trade history of Nigeria is marked with some important incidents. In the year 1982 Nigeria invoked GATT Article XVIII: B on restrictions for balance-of-payments reasons in 1982. After confirming the WTO agreement in 1994, Nigeria became the original member of WTO in 1995.
Later in 1996 these restrictions were reviewed by the Balance of Payment Committee and it was decided by the committee that the restrictions are not justified under the BOP rules of GATT 1994. Nigeria then proposed that all such measures should be eliminated.Nigeria became member of WTO by accepting the Marrakech Agreement however the Marrakech Agreement has not been incorporated in the Nigerian law.
In the domestic legal and trade system of Nigeria there is no clarification about several obligations of WTO for example the investors and traders fail to invoke the WTO provisions in the domestic counts because the WTO agreements don’t have the force of law in Nigeria. The country has not signed any pluliteral agreement under WTO neither it is involved in any trade-related dispute under the WTO Agreements. Though Nigeria is among the founder members of the organization however there are some controversies surrounding the issue. Some government officials of Nigeria believe that the membership of WTO is not benefiting the country as it should. For example despite being a member of WTO Nigeria has not yet achieved trade liberalizations and economic development due to which over 100 millions of the Nigerian people are living below the poverty line. Despite this opposition the country is an active member of WTO and it has also become a member of the coalesced G20 trade block of articulate developing countries that is led by India, Brazil, China and South Africa. The objective behind the establishment of this trade block in 2003 was to build trade cooperation between the countries in form of low subsidies of domestic agriculture production and export.
Moreover the government of Nigeria also follows the laws and regulations enacted by WTO on Nigeria being a member country like as prohibited by WTO the Nigerian Government has banned the import and export of several items in the country. There is ban on the import of used cars moreover verity of items like frozen poultry, vegetable oil (in bulk), kaolin, gypsum, canned beer, used clothing, coils, wax-printed fabrics, bagged cement and many other items are also banned as per the policies of WTO.4.2 Establishment of NIPCThe government of Nigeria felt the need of a body that can look after the interest of the country in trade and investment with full concentration. The government of Nigeria was also committed towards providing facilities and coordination to tee foreign investors in the country and to attain this objective the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission NIPC was established. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission – NIPC came in to existence as the agency of the Federal Government.
The establishment took place under the NIPC Act 2005. The basic purpose of establishing NIPC was to encourage, co ordinate and promote the investments in different sectors of Nigeria economy.The NIPC Act law gave the commission authority to grant approvals on the fiscal concessions on incentives related to different industries “Pioneer industries, Local raw material utilization, Export oriented industry, Implant training, Investment on infrastructural facilities, Research and development”. Moreover the commission was also assign some other important responsibilities for example the commission was directed to focus on the areas where the investment activities are not successful. The commission also has to use different promotional tools thought which investment from inside and outside the country could be encouraged and promoted.
The commission registered total 63 new foreign investments in the year 2004. In the manufacturing and services sectors there were 18 investments each registered by the commission whereas 5 were from the oil and gas sector. The rest of the investments were done in the sectors of Engineering/Constructions, Communications, Agro/Agro – Allied, Pharmaceuticals and Transport sector. From these 63 new investments total sum of $96.34 million came into the country through foreign capital injections. The rise in the FDI flow to Nigeria is also measures during the lat few years. The net FDI amount was almost doubled in the year 2003 as compared with 2002 when it touches the limits of US$3 billion.
Later in 2005 the FDI flow increased to US$6 billion.4.1 Constitution and Objective of NIPCThe commission works at Federal Level to attain the objectives of its establishment that are to “project the image of Nigeria as a country that is safe and attractive for the investments, to create awareness among the people inside and outside the country about the investment opportunities in different sectors of the Nigerian Economy. The commission also works to empower the people of Nigeria to invest in different sectors by providing them incentives. The commission also has the objective of identifying the potential investors of the Nigerian economy and to encourage them by showing different investment opportunities and facilitating then through different incentives. For this purpose the commission works to portray the scene of investment regime of the country in front of the investors as a regime that is rapidly developing with the adequate infrastructure and where an investment environment free from corruption and frauds exists.
NIPC was established under the Decree 16 of 1995 confers following power to the commission. “The commission has to coordinate, monitor and encourage such activities that are aimed at establishing enterprises in Nigeria. Moreover the commission also has the duty to guide the enterprise in operating in Nigeria. NIPC has also given the right to register and keep the records of all the enterprises that come under the range of legal boundaries of the commission. The commission can also give advices to the Federal Government on different policy matters.Based on this framework the organization has developed the vision to “”to be the foremost investment agency and the largest single contributor to Nigeria’s economic transformation”. The mission of the commission is “to proactively position and promote Nigeria as a preferred investment destination and to be a facilitative rather than an approval agency that will advocate de-bureaucratizing and de-bottlenecking the process for investment in Nigeria”.
NIPC works to promote investment opportunities in both oil and non oil sectors of the Nigerian economy. The main emphasis of NIPC is on the areas of “Pioneer industries, Local raw material utilization, Export oriented industry, Implant training, Investment on infrastructural facilities, Research and development and Investment in economically disadvantaged areas; provided that the fiscal incentives for which approvals are given shall be for tax concessions”. The main sectors of the economy covered by NIPC include “Transport, Pharmaceuticals, Agro/Agro Allied, Communications, Services, Manufacturing, Engineering/Construction and Oil ; Gas”4.2 History of NIPCThe establishment of NIPC is an important step of government of Nigeria that is part of the series of actions taken by the government to liberalize the economy and to promote competition as well as investment in different sectors of the economy of the country. NIPC came in to existence as a successor to the industrial Development Coordination Committee – IDCC. The establishment of NIPC under the NIPC act 1995 cancelled the pervious laws that were formulated for the creation of IDCC. The laws cancelled by NIPC law 1995 are the IDDC Decree N0 36 of 1989 and Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Decree of 1989. NIPC was also established with the intention of overcoming the hurdles that were faced by the foreign investors in Nigeria resulting from Nigerian Indigenization Decree of 1977.
According to this law the foreign investors were not allowed to participate in the investment and business activities in some specific industries and sectors. NIPC make the investment regime of the country favorable for the foreign investors and removed several barriers that were hindering the foreign investors. NIPC allowed the foreign participation in most of the sectors and industries and not the production of arms and other sensitive items was kept unopened for the foreign investors.4.
3 Activities of NIPCNIPC works for providing incentives to the investors, for which the commission works to facilitate the enterprises by employing different means of modern mass media like NIPC uses print and electronic means of communication for promoting investment incentives. The NIPC newsletter “The Investors Facilitator” is published on quarterly basis to propagate information about the investment incentives and activities of the commission. Moreover for building a positive image of the country with respect to investment opportunities NIPC place advertisement in international print and electronic media that portray the investment friendly image of the country in front of the world.
In addition NIPC distribute flyers in international forums that contain information about the investment incentives offered in the country.The commission provides several services like assistance to the foreign investors in completing the registration and documentation, guiding the investors about the procedures and details of the investment opportunities in the country. These services are provided by NIPC to the investors free of cost.
The commission is run through the funding of government that often seems insufficient to meet the expenditures of the commission because it provide wide range of services to the investors that requires adequate funding. The funds are required to conduct several highly leveled activities like targeted investment promotion, capacity building, data bank development, arrangement of seminar and production of such material that can promote the investment facilities.For the promotion of investment opportunities the commission works for arranging a National Council that was the first National Council on Investment. The council was attended by the stakeholders that were interested in activities that can raise the FDI flow to the country. The council works to coordinate, streamline and promote investments in the country.
In order to promote the investment activities at national level the commission coordinate with the other agencies of government and designed strategies that work for fostering collaboration between the related ministries and agencies of government. The commission has also developed effective communication links with the representatives of foreign embassies and missions working in Nigeria. NIPC communicate with them about the investment opportunities, incentives and the potential benefits and advantages of investing in the country.
As a result of this communication the share of non oil sectors in the total FDI of the country is increased and in the year 2004 the services sector accounted for 54.96% of total FDI into the country. This is followed by Telecommunication-23.
06% and the third largest inflow was in the manufacturing sector, which accounted for 13% of total FDI into the country.An important objective of NIPC was also to remove the “bureaucratic bottlenecks” that affects the business scenario of Nigeria. The bureaucratic bottlenecks are the different problems that are faced by investors in dealing with different state departments of the country as a result of corruption, injustice and high rate of crime. For example the investors are not properly guided at the offices about the process of licensing and registration and the procedure of registration is delayed as the staff did not cooperate and work efficiently. Though the government is working to promote and improve the investment climate of the country but the foreign investors often face problems in dealing with different bureau that deal unfavorably with the investors and the foreign investors face high business taxes, corruption, extensive crimes, confusing land ownership laws and arbitrary application of regulations. The judicial system established to solve the commercial disputes is very weak and often biased. In order to solve this issue the commission strives to assist the investors by providing them a flexible registration system so that they can find ease in the procedure of investment and registration. However NIPC is concentrating towards encouraging the investors by proving them flexible registration and license system.
Moreover the commission coordinates with the related companies and inquires them about the problems that these organizations face in their business. The commission also communicates with these firms to find out the solutions to their problems and with the help of these discussions the commission makes some recommendations for the government that can be adopted for the improvement of the situation and encouragement of the investors. The communication links with the companies are establish through different meetings and seminars that are arranged by NIPC however very often these discussion and communication remain fruitless and the steps of the commission are limited due to lack of financial assets. The commission fails to perform the function of creating awareness among the investors about the investment opportunities and incentives that are offered in Nigeria NIPC face a major constraint in form of lack of funding.
The government provides funds to the commission but very often these funds are found insufficient to meet the expenditure requirement of the commission and as a result NIPC was not able to meet all the targets that are define in the Annual work plan of the commission for example training of staff at high standards, development of data bank, organizing more regional seminars and workshops and production of investment promotion material. This problem could only be overcome by adequate funding and the commission look towards government to provide sufficient funds but there is no improvement in the situation yet and the commission is facing financial problems in performing its various activities like seminar arrangements, printing of advertisement material etc.The commission also organized different forums for the foreign investment promotions. These forums are organized to target the potential investors and multinational companies. The missions and forums of the commission are arranged in different countries like “Trim 2004” is the mission of the commission that was organized in Canada with the collaboration of several companies of private sectors.
The companies involved in the mission were related to the sectors of Information Technology and Solid minerals. The commission also arranged a Palm Oil conference in the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. In the conference a memorandum of understanding was signed by the officials of the commission and the foreign investors. In the conference there was done an agreement for the investment of $ 1.5 billion spread over 10 years. The investors that signed this MOU had already visited the country and they have reviewed the investment opportunities and different aspects of the investment regime of Nigeria.NIPC also formed a Nigeria – China business and investment forum in Shanghai. Through this forum also several MOUs were signed by the investors.
The representatives of different countries also attend different meetings and do several site visits to find more about the investment opportunities. This forum was arranged by NIPC with the collaboration with the Chinese World Annual Conference and Trade Fair. In addition to the above forums and missions NIPC has also arranged different other conferences and forums including the “South Africa Made in Nigeria Expo” through which the commission create awareness about the investment opportunities in Nigeria and several MOUs are also signed between the businessmen and investors of both the countries. “Best of Nigeria Expo” arranged in London was arranged to attract the investors from UK to initiate projects in Nigeria.4.4 The Legal Activities of the CommissionNIPC formulated several laws to ease the foreign investments like it allows the foreign investors to own 100 percent of the equity of any enterprise in Nigeria. Moreover the law also permitted the foreign investors to buy the shares of any domestic firm and they were assured that there will not face any barrier or inconvenience on the transferability of their capital, profits as well as dividends. In this way NIPC acted as a one stop agency that serves as the only center for the coordination and approvals of the investment related activities.
Though there are some other agencies, ministries and departments of the government that look after these matters however NIPC is the full fledge and effective investor service agency of Nigeria that has assigned the job to look after all the matters of investments in the country.NIPC conducted the law related activities through its legal unit that provides the commission professional legal advice and services. Different aspects and activities of the commission are monitored with the legal perspectives and keep these activities align with the Act that enables the establishment of the commission like granting the license to any foreign or domestic country, registration and permit to different companies to work in different sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The legal unit of NIPC provides advisory opinions to the executive secretary, council and other members of the commission. It also prepares various instruments and other non-legislative documents based on the interpretation of the agreements formerly prepared by the commission.The legal unit of NIPC also offers legal advices and sends its representatives to the meetings of the commercial and industrial agreements in which the NIPC is involved. The legal unit also offers legal advice particularly in the areas of Joint Venture Contracts, Project Finance, and International Trade. The legal unit also gives advices to the commission on several issues and also arranges meetings with the officials of the commission to communicate about the legal aspects of different activities and policies of the commission. The activities of the commission are properly monitored in accordance with the legal framework because NIPC is the investment authority of Nigeria that formulates laws and regulations for the encouragement and support of the foreign investors and also formulate the relevant formalities of the investment process like registration and licensing etc.
The legal unit also does the analysis of all the legal documents on behalf of NIPC. In addition to these functions the legal unit also conducted the legal searches and drafts different memorandum of understands between the commission and other organizations.NIPC – Future and ScopeNIPC was established with the aim of attracting foreign direct investment in the country. The commission is engaged in different activities to attain this objective and some of the promotional activities like seminars, workshops and assistance in registration producer has resulted in the improvement of the situation and during the year 2004, NIPC registered total 63 new foreign investments. In the manufacturing and services sectors there were 18 investments each registered by the commission whereas 5 were from the oil and gas sector. The rest of the investments were done in the sectors of Engineering/Constructions, Communications, Agro/Agro – Allied, Pharmaceuticals and Transport sector. From these 63 new investments total sum of $96.34 million came into the country through foreign capital injections.
The net FDI amount was almost doubled in the year 2003 as compared with 2002 when it touches the limits of US$3 billion. Later in 2005 the FDI flow increased to US$6 billion. Usually the investment promotion activities are inward but in case of Nigeria the economy is mainly based on the export of the products that are the output of the manufacturing process within the country and in this context the activities of NIPC have greater impact on the international trade because it remain involve in the promotion of investment opportunities to different countries of the world.United States Agency for International Development (USAID) prepared a report regarding the investment regime of Nigeria in 2001 and disclosed that there is much room for improvement in the functioning of NIPC.
In the report UNCTAD point out that working process of NIPC is not satisfactory. In the report some flaws in the working procedure of the commission are mentioned. It is stated that “As currently designed, the NIPC registration process is discriminatory and redundant; its operations inefficient, and its procedural guidelines incomplete. Unwittingly, the NIPC essentially adds layers to services being delivered by the MoIA, the MoI (IDD), FIRS, the NCS, and the NEPC.” The working of commission is criticized and many of the steps in the commission procedure of registration are considered unnecessary because the commission lacks adequate funding and due to which the commission is unable to hire highly skilled and professional staff as it can not afford the high salaries of highly skilled employees.
As a result the procedure of registration at the commission is not professionally managed. In this situation it becomes very necessary that NIPC must get adequate funding so that the commission can hire highly qualified people who can make some major changes in the working procedure of the commission to make in simple and invertors friendly. The hiring of highly qualified and experienced people in the commission can also draw positive impact on the performance of the commission and along with that the commission also has to revise its registration and license procedures and for making it simple the commission can also make arrangement to get the feed back of the investors through email or complaints. The investors that face problem due to the complex registration procedure must provide an opportunity that they can express their difficulties through any feed back or complaint form available at the office of the commission. In the feed back form the investors can not only mention their problem but can also suggest ways to make the process simple. The feed back from the public can help the commission in the process of revising its registration procedure.The report further expressed that foreign investors have to the formal registration and permitting procedure with NIPC and in this regard it is very crucial that there should be refocus on the authorities and functioning of the commission. The role of NIPC should be more of investment promoting body rather then a regulatory authority so that it can give the impression of a facilitating and investor’s supporting agency and not a regulatory authority.
Moreover the requirement of registration of all the foreign investors with NIPC should also removed because it cause delay of time for the investors and as a result they are not discouraged but they feel uncomfortable with the complex system. Hence there is need to review the constitution and organizational structure of NIPC.5. Comparison of NIPC with EU, WTO and UNCTAD5.1 The Organizational Structure and ObjectivesIf we compare the organizational structure and constitution of the major international organizations a common thing could be found among NIPC and WTO that these organizations were formed to replace other organizations because the role and functioning of the earlier established organizations was not satisfying. NIPC was formed as a successor of Industrial Development Coordination Committee – IDCC whereas WTO was established to replace General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – GATT. The main reason behind the replacement of an old organization with the new one was to expand the working and functions of the organizations.It was observed that in Nigeria Industrial Development Coordination Committee – IDCC was assigned many duties related to the trade and investment promotion in the country but the funding and organizational structure of IDCC was not accurate enough that it can perform the entire assigned task in effective way.
Hence the establishment of NIPC occurred under the Decree 16 of 1995 that cancelled the formulation of IDCC and the new organization Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission came in to existence. In the same way World Trade Organization was established because there was a need to form an organization that can work more effectively then GATT. The organizational structure of GATT was not proved to be compatible with the international trading scenario and an organization with more authority and working capabilities was required.
Hence WTO was formed on the basis of the same principles that were adopted by GATT but the scope and functions of the newly established organization were widened and certain new disciplines became part of WTO that were not covered by GATT.On the other hand the establishment of UNCTAD was not aimed at replacing any other organizations however the main objective of UNCTAD was also to establish a trading body that can work for the harmonization of international trade and have wide range of scope and functions. In this way it is discovered that the main objective behind the establishment of all the above discussed organizations; WTO, UNCTAD and NIPC is the same and that is to have an organization that can work effectively for the promotion of international trade and investment and can work with enough authority to formulate law s within their working scales.Though the motive for the establishment of these organizations was same but there is a major difference between NIPC and WTO and UNCTAD. NIPC works for the promotion and encouragement of investment opportunities within Nigeria whereas the focus of UNCTAD and WTO is not any single country and they work for the promotion of trade at international level and their policies and laws are also related with and followed by all the member countries. NIPC on the other hand formulates laws and regulations that can be enacted to the businesses and enterprises that exist within the boundaries of the country and no other country is responsible to follow the laws formulated by NIPC until it initiate any project in Nigeria. This is because NIPC was established by the Nigerian Government to safeguard the interest of the country related with trade and investment whereas WTO and UNCTAD were established by United Nations for safeguarding the rights and interests of all the member countries.
In the same way the policies designed by WTO and UNCTAD draw more effects on the international trade because there are many countries that are member of these organizations and any change in the policies or rules and regulations of these organizations directly affects the trading operation of the member countries but NIPC has no direct effects on the international trade and only the countries and enterprises doing business in Nigeria are affected by laws, rules and regulations of NIPC.Hence the objective, functions and scope of these organizations is well defined in the law that authenticate their existence however the major difference between the scope of NIPC and WTO and UNCTAD is that NIPC is a federal owned organization and the government of Nigeria has right to make changes in the working criteria, scope and policies of the commission, on the other hand WTO and UNCTAD are run through their superior authorities “Ministerial Conference and Quadrennial Conference” respectively. These conferences are attended by all the members of the organizations and any change in the policies, laws and rules is made after the discussion and confederacy of the member countries.5.2 Comparison of Legal Framework and ActivitiesThe legal framework of these organizations is also set by the laws that define their objectives, scope and functions. For example the legal framework of UNCTAD is defined under the paragraph 3 of the Resolution 1995 (XIX). As the organization is formed by the General Council of United National so its resolution speaks about different aspects of the organization. UNCTAD is not exactly meant at providing the technical assistance to the member countries however the third paragraph of the resolution gave UNCTAD authority to do so as well.
WTO has strong relationship with the international trade law because it is concerned with the agreements done between the countries to perform different trade related activities. The agreements done through the organization are called World Trade Rules. These agreements cover wide range of trade related activities. The different disciplines covered by the WTO trade agreements are “General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994”, “The General Agreement on Trade in Services” and the “Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights”. The organization also has different types of policies for the settlement of the trading disputes between the country and the organization also has the authority to force countries to act upon the instructions of the organization because when a country became member of WTO it accepts to follow all the rules and laws formulated and enacted by WTO for example the single dispute settlement system of WTO is based on the Uruguay Round Agreements and all the member countries of WTO are necessarily required to accept the decisions and details of the Uruguay Round Agreements. WTO also has the legal authority to ask the member countries to formulate their trade policies according to the rules and regulations decided by WTO. The countries can also report complaints against other countries that are violating laws set by WTO and the organization has the authority to take action against that country in form of any trade barrier or restriction. Though there are some similarities pointed out in the constitution of these organizations but there are many differences in the constitution and framework of NIPC as compared with WTO and UNCTAD.
For example the agenda and activities of UNCTAD and WTO is to promote investment and technology at international level, on the other hand NIPC work for Nigeria only and due to this fact their framework is also different as the constitution of WTO and UNCTAD is formulated keeping in view the international requirements of the member countries whereas NIPC was constituted keeping in view the needs of Nigeria regarding the investment promotion. In the same way NIPC has also set out laws for the companies and enterprises that are doing business inside or with the country. The legal framework and authority are assigned to the commission in the NIPC law 1996. The organization has given the authority for formulated laws related to different trading and investment activities like the issuance of licenses and permits, giving ownership rights and share in domestic companies to the foreign firms etc. The laws formulated by NIPC gave right to the foreign investors that they can own a business or enterprise in the country which was not allowed before the establishment of NIPC. After the implication of the law formulated by NIPC the foreign investors get the chance to own 100 percent equity of the enterprises in Nigeria. Moreover NIPC has also formulated such laws that authenticate the foreign investors to acquire shares in the domestic enterprises and businesses of the country. Only some industries and manufacturing sectors are not included under these laws because of the sensitivity of the sectors like Arms manufacturing.
NIPC also grants permits and licenses to the foreign investors to start their business in Nigeria. All the legal activities of NIPC are designed and conducted through its legal unit that is responsible to review all the policies and activities of the commission from the legal perspective. The legal unit of the commission also offers legal advices to the members of the commission particularly in the areas of Joint Venture Contracts, Project Finance, and International Trade. NIPC also has the right to prepare trade related legislative documents.The main point noticed in the comparison of the legal framework of these organizations is that the legal framework adopted by WTO and UNTCAD is accepted and followed worldwide but on the other hand the legal framework and legal activities of NIPC are bound to the limits of Nigerian borders. NIPC has no legal authority to force other countries to follow the laws formulated by NIPC until the investors and enterprises of these countries come within the borders of Nigeria and outside the Nigerian border, NIPC also has to follow the international trade laws formulate by WTO.;;6. NIPC – Comparison with Other Investment CommissionsThere are some differences pointed out while comparing NIPC with WTO and UNCTAD including the differences in structure, scope and activities, mainly because WTO and UNCTAD are international organizations that have many members and have to safeguard their common interests whereas NIPC belong to a single country i.
e. Nigeria and the scope and activities of NIPC are according to the level at which it operates. In this section NIPC is compared with Australian and Thai investment promotion commissions because these organizations also work for safeguarding the interest of their own country and promote investment opportunities to attract the investors towards the countries they belong. In this way these commissions work at same level i.e.
national level. Though the activities of these organizations are spread across the borders like arrangement of international seminars and expo etc but the objective behind all the activities remains the same and that is to encourage investors to invest in their countries. The comparison of NIPC with ASIS and BOI will give the idea that how such commission should be run at national levels and what are the activities and functions that NIPC is missing as compared with these.6.1 Australian Securities and Investments Commission – ASIC6.1.
1. IntroductionASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission is an independent government body that was established with the objective to “enforce, set standards and regulate company and financial services laws to protect consumers, investors and creditors.” The commission administers several legislations and regulations related with the investment regime of the country.
these legislations and regulations include “Corporations Act 2001, Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, Insurance Contracts Act, Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1999 and Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993”.The offices of the commission are located in the capital city of each state and territory and the commission has also established an information processing centre (IPC) in Traralgon, Victoria. This office was established with the objective to “register the companies, maintain ASIC’s company register, process all ASIC forms, and answer calls and emails from the public.” There are four main externally-focused directorates of ASIC which are “Compliance Consumer Protection Enforcement and Regulation. The commission conducts all its activities through these different directorates.The commission has given the responsibility to regulate the securities and some derivatives markets of the country because due to internationalism these markets are much influenced by the global economic and development trends in electronic trading system and technology.6.1.
2. Constitution of ASICThe commission came in to existence under the ASIC Act 1989 and stated functioning on 1 January 1991 as Australian Securities Commission (ASC) later in 1998 it became Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The commission replaced the National Companies and Securities Commission (NCSC) and the Corporate Affairs offices of the states and territories. The section 1(2) of the ASIC Act requires ASIC to uphold the law uniformly, effectively, and quickly; to promote confident and informed participation by investors and consumers in the financial system, to make information about companies and other bodies available to the public, and to improve the performance of the financial system and entities within it. The Commission was established under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) that states that the ASIC should· “Uphold the law uniformly, effectively and quickly;· Promote confident and informed participation by investors and consumers in the financial system;· Receive, process and store information about companies and other bodies and· Ensure that this information is made available to the public as soon as practicable and· Improve the performance of the financial system and the entities within it.”6.1.3.
Main Areas covered by ASICThere are various sectors of the Australian economy that are covered by ASIC like “financial markets, financial sector intermediaries and financial products, including investments, insurance, and superannuation and deposit-taking activities. The commission works to promote confident participation in the financial system by investors and consumers by developing policies and guidelines that assists the investors and guide them about the laws implemented in the sector where they are going to invest. Moreover the commission also issue licenses to the foreign investors to make their investment in the Australian Market. The main area of investment covered by the commission is financial market. Hence in comparison with NIPC this is the main point of difference in the activities of both the commission that NIPC works to promote investment opportunities in many sectors of economy like services, telecommunication, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industry but ASIC covers the financial market and promote the investors make their investment in different financial products offered in the financial market.
ASIC is not involved in promotion of investment opportunities in different sectors of the Australian economy like Agriculture, services, manufacturing and pharmaceutical etc. The main function of ASIC is to work for the consumer protection in superannuation, insurance, deposit taking and credit.6.1.4 Objectives and ActivitiesThe investment commission performs variety of services for the promotion and facilitation of investment in the country. The commission has the authority to “regulate Australian companies, financial markets, financial services organizations and professionals who deal and advise in investments, superannuation, insurance, deposit taking and credit” The commission work for promoting international cooperation between Australia and other countries of the world.
For this purpose the commission obtains information about the trade regulation of different countries and aligns the trade policies of Australia with that country according to the acquired information. ASIS has also sign many bilateral MOUs with different countries like Europe US and Germany etc. these MOUs are signed to develop a mutual understanding between these countries with regard to rules and regulations of trade and to promote trading activities between the countries.In order to strengthen the investment regime of the country ASIC ask the companies that their company financial reports and audits should meet the standards set by Parliament and the companies by their own also have to fight against corporate fraud, breaches of continuous disclosure, accounting and audit standards and misconduct.
Moreover the commission insists the investors to act promptly in the interests of creditors.At international level ASIC took part in many activities. It is an active participant of the international forums that deal with the issues of finance regulation at global level for example ASIC is the member of International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) that work on the issues related with market stability. ASIC also participate in the joint forums that are established to concentrate towards the issues of banking, insurance and securities regulations.ASIC is an important regulatory body that has assigned the responsibility for ensuring that the companies operating the country are fulfilling their responsibilities honestly, diligently and in the best interests of their company. In order to keep watch on the activities of the companies ASIC regulates the “fundraising of company, takeovers and schemes of arrangement, audit and financial reporting, market disclosure, shareholder rights and company administration and windings up”.
The companies are also required to get registered with ASIC so that the complete information about the companies operating in the country could be collected at ASIC and can be accessed quickly at any time. The commission also works as a market regulator and in order to perform its role as a market regulator ASIC keep on monitoring the financial market to make sure that the companies in the financial markets are complying with their legal obligations to operate fair, orderly and transparent markets. To perform the services of financial services regulator ASIC issue licenses to the companies sand also monitor the financial services businesses to evaluate their performances. Moreover the commission also administers the legislation relating to insurance, superannuation, retirement savings accounts and medical indemnity cover.In order to facilitate the foreign investors ASIC assist them by providing relevant information and services and guide them about the rules and regulation that are implemented in the sectors in which the foreign investor show their willingness to invest. The investors also have to get licenses for the financial services businesses. To give the investors understanding of the investment regime of the country, ASIC also publish policy statements, guides and information sheets to explain how the law works and how the investors have to comply.
These documents about the law and trade policies of the country are issued after extensive external consultation and approval by the regulatory policy group of the commissionASIC has developed a valuable database of the 1.4 million companies that are operating in Australia. This data base comprises of wide range of information about the companies including their identity, status of the company, the names of directors and major shareholders, and whether there are registered charges over company assets. With the help of this data base the commission holds the public register of the holders of Australian financial services (AFS), people who have been banned from providing financial services, registered auditors and liquidators, people banned or disqualified from managing a company, people who have given enforceable undertakings (for example, not to carryon a financial services business or manage a company), all disclosure documents for securities.
ASIC also work to monitor the companies with respect to their activities and operation in compliance with the laws and regulations formulated and implemented by the commission. This monitoring is done so that the commission can detect any unlawful activity conducted by any business organization and stop that at initial stages. For monitoring the activities of business organizations from the legal perspective, ASIC has adopted four basic approaches.Helping the business entities to understand their compliance obligationsCreating flexible rules and offering incentives to the business organizations so that they can inform ASIC when they have breached their obligationsMonitoring compliance with obligations through surveillance and campaignsTaking action when there are serious breaches that threaten the objectives of the law, particularly breaches that harm consumers or the integrity of financial markets6.2 Thailand Board of Investment6.2.1. Introduction to BOIThailand that is also known as “land of smiles” is the third Asian and world’s ninth most attractive investment destination according to the UNCTAD report.
In Thailand the foreign investment is regulated and governed through the following acts: “Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (A.D.1999), Alien Employment Act B.E. 2521 (A.
D. 1978), and Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (A.D.1977). The matters related with the promotion of investment are looked after by the Board of Investment – BOI.
In Thailand high tariff structure was a major impediment to market access in many sectors. The average applied tariff rate in the country is 12.74 percent and on the imports of the goods including agricultural products, autos and auto parts, alcoholic beverages, fabrics, paper and paperboard products, restaurant equipment, and some electrical appliances there is highest tax rate applied.
This tax rate was considered as a major barrier to the Thai investment promotion however through the BOI Thai government took several steps to implement the WTO and ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) tariff reduction commitments and rationalizing its complicated tariff regime for example in 2003 there was a reduction on the tariffs on 1,108 items including the raw materials and inputs not produced locally. In 2003, the Thai government announced tariff reductions on 1,391 items and has gradually phased in these cuts throughout 2004. In January 2005, the Thai government also announced that there will be tariff reductions on industrial petrochemical products for 100 items from the existing average tariff rates of 20-30 percent to 0-5 percent within 3 years. The steps of BOI to lower down the tariff rate are encourages by WTO and in its December 1999 remarks, the WTO’s Trade Policy Review Body noted that Thailand has committed to implement all WTO agreements, including Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS).6.2.2. Areas Covered by BOIThere are five major priority sectors that are covered by the activities of BOI.
These sectors are the major working areas of BOI and are as followedAgriculture and agricultural products;Environmental protection and/or restoration;Direct involvement in technological and human resource development;Basic transportation, infrastructure, and services; and,Targeted industries, including agro-industry, automotive, fashion, information technology/electronics, high value-added services, and semi-conductors6.2.3. Activities of BOIThe board offers many incentives to encourage the foreign and domestic investment with the objective to accelerate the economic growth of the country.
BOI administers the investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (A.D.
1977) through which incentives and opportunities are offered to the investors. The board works for the promotion of investment in the developing provinces of the country and offer more incentives to the investors who invest in the developing provinces as compared with those invest in the developed ones.The board has given the power by the government to a wide range of financial and non-financial incentives to the investment projects that can benefit different sectors and meet the economic goals of the country. the incentives and privileges offered by BIO to encourage and facilitate the investors in the country include “the exemption and in some cases reduction of export duties on the import of machinery and material, exemption from the corporate income tax for the time period of three years to ten years, during the corporate income tax holiday the investors are also given the exemption from dividend tax. Moreover the board also makes arrangements to bring foreign technicians and experts in the country so that their expertise could be utilized in different projects. The board also allows owing land to carry out promoted projects.The board has divided the industrial estate in to two categories:General Industrial Zone (GIZ) – an area designated for industrial activitiesExport Processing Zone (EPZ) – an area designated for activities supporting industrial and import export activities.The investment activities are manages in these categories and the foreign investors have to contact with the board and take license to initiate the project in any sector.
The board works to fulfill the requirement of the government to liberalize the economy of the country in following manner. The government of Thailand expressed its intention to liberalize the economy of the country in order to play an effective role in the international trade by encouraging the foreign investors through open trade system, low tariff, duties and investment incentives. The intentions of the government were truly expressed through the step that they take with the aim to make the investment regime open for the investors for example in 1999 the government established a public debt management office that was a reforming step to assist the people in managing their debt related transactions with ease through the newly established organization.
The country also raised the rate of privatization in the country when there were 29 regional airports were staled for privatization. The real estate industry was also promoted by offering them capital funds for small and medium enterprise venture. As a result of all these incentives there was improvement observed in the foreign investments in the country and the Board of Investment BOI revealed that the number of projects as well as the amount of capital invested in different sectors of Thai economy is increased specially after the year 2000. There was an increase of 52 percent measures by BOI in the first quarter of 2000 and the combined corporate registered capital in the country reached U.
S. $400 million.6.2.
4. Objectives of BOIThe policy of Thailand Board of Investment is based on the principles to maximize the benefits of investment to the country, to uses a performance-based system that requires promoted investors to submit evidence of compliance with the conditions of their approval in order to claim incentive benefits, in order to remain in line with policies supporting good governance, To increase the global competitiveness of Thai exports, projects investment 10 million baht ($250,000) or more, to lift all local content and export requirements in order to ensure that Thai investment policy is in line with all international obligationsTo encourage foreign investment BOI offers incentives that are of two basic types: tax-based (including tax holidays and tariff exemptions) and non-tax privileges (guarantees, special permissions, services, etc.) BOI offers following incentives to the investors)Exemption of import duty on machinery regardless of location andCorporate income tax exemption for eight years, regardless of locationIn order to evaluate the different steps implemented through BOI by the Thai government, a survey was conducted by the board in 2007 and the results of the survey revealed that the steps taken by the government to liberalize the economy have resulted in the growing interest of the foreign investors in the investment regime of Thailand and now countries including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and the United States show their interest in investing in Thailand and the investors belonging to these countries have showed their confidence in the steps that are taken BOI in term of flexible tariff and taxes.Despite all these steps taken by the board there are some criticism also done on the role of the board.
the former head of the board “Thaksin” disclosed that there is great room for improvement in the functioning of the board and the board should also align it activities according to rules and regulations set by the World Trade Organization and this could be down by further lowering down the trade barriers by reducing the import duties and taxes on the foreign investors (Asia Week, n.p., 2001)The board provides incentives of the investors and for this purpose the board has developed an attractive package of tax and non-tax incentives. The “Non-fiscal incentives” are all the incentives that are related with the authorization for foreign investors to buy land, granting the permission to the foreign investors that they can majority industrial and some service projects. The investors are also given the permission by the board to bring in foreign experts and technicians. Along with these non fiscal incentives, the board also provides some fiscal incentives to the investors that include exemptions in the corporate tax up to 8 years, depending on the location and activity. The board also offers to reduce or exempt the import duty on machinery, depending on the location and activity and on the raw materials or essential materials used in export production;6.3 Comparison of ASIC and BOI with NIPCComparison of ObjectivesWhile comparing NIPC with the investment commissions of Australia and Thailand there are some common objectives pointed out behind the establishment of these commission.
BOI, ASIC and NIPC, all of these were established with the purpose to promote, encourage and facilitate the foreign and domestic investment in their countries. These organizations work at national level however the activities are also spread across the borders when there is need to run any program regarding the investment promotion in the country.The description of ASIC indicated that ASIC was established to meet wide range of objectives that include the regulation and monitoring of the financial markets as well along with providing incentives to the investors. NIPC on the other hand also perform the regulation work along with the investment promotional activities but NIPC does not enjoy that level of authorities that are enjoyed by ASIC. ASIC has the power to formulate various laws related with the financial market, NIPC don’t have the complete authority over this matter and it has to consult other relevant department for taking nay major step.Comparison of Legal frame work and ConstitutionThere are several well defined laws that are regulated under the BOI and ASIC as compared with these, NIPC is not administering much legislation. Though NIPC is a regulatory body and many of the legal aspects of the investment activities of the country are covered by the commission but there are not many specific laws that are administered by NIPC. In this regard the legal framework of BIO and ASIC seems to be stronger than that of NIPC and hence the scope of these organizations is also wider then NIPC. The laws under which the establishment of NIPC was done i.e. the Decree 16 of 1995 confers less powers to NIPC then that ,conferred by Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (A.D.1999), Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (A.D.1977) to BOI and by section 1(2) of the ASIC Act to ASIC. Due to this fact these commission have different levels of power related with law formulation and implementation. ASIC and BOI have more legislative powers that why as compared with NIPC they are in better position to formulate and implement law in the investment regimes of their country.There is also a major difference observed in the areas of working of NIPC and ASIC. NIPC work for the promotion of investment in different sectors of economy like agriculture, services and manufacturing etc but ASIC emphasizes on the financial markets and work for the promotion of investment opportunities in the financial market of Australia.Comparison of Activities for Facilitating InvestmentThere are many incentives offered by the Thailand Board of Investment to the investors that are much more than that offered by NIPC. As discussed in the scope and future of NIPC, the role of NIPC is not considered much satisfying and some procedures of the commission are also found complicated and discouraging. On the other hand there are some very attractive incentives offered by BIO to the investors and in this context BIO has adopted a better strategy to attract the foreign investors.As a result of providing more incentives to the investors by lowering down the tariffs and duties, the activities of BOI are encouraged by WTO as well. In its December 1999 remarks, the WTO’s Trade Policy Review Body noted that Thailand has committed to implement all WTO agreements, including Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS). On the other hand the steps taken by NIPC are not encouraged by any of the international organization yet. In fact NIPC has been criticized for its complicated licensing process and useless steps involve in the registration of foreign investors in the country and it is thought that NIPC has to do more to attain standard in its activities. NIPC has also been criticized for hiring unskilled and non professional staff but on the other hand BIO and ASIC are not criticized on this ground by any organization or country.Though NIPC is credited for brining considerable number of investment projects in the country especially during 2004 there were total 63 new foreign investments projects registered by NIPC in different sectors of the Nigerian Economy but through out the history of the commission there are no strong evidences found that inform about the NIPC step to lower down the tariff rate and duties. The performance of ASIC and BOI clearly indicates that an investment promotion commission must concentrate on lowering down the tariff and taxes rates to encourage the investment but NIPC has done little in this regard and a major reason behind lack of concentrating on this important aspect is that NIPC has not the complete authority to lower down the tariff rates and the federal department of Nigerian Government relevant with different industries also share the authority to control the tariff rates. Hence NIPC can not solely take any such step that can encourage investment in real sense by reducing the tax rates.Comparison of Financial ConditionsAn important reason that creates difference in the activities and function of these organizations is the lack of adequate funding to NIPC. there are no evidence found that BOI and ASIC are facing any problem related with the financial resources hence their activates are well managed and successful enough to bring more investment in the country but on the other hand NIPC did not get enough amount from government and as a result the commission could not perform well all its activities including seminar arrangement, publicity etc. The inadequacy of financial resources being a major problem that bring the performance of NIPC at down standards as compared with BOI and ASIC because due to lacking financial resources the commission does not work with that standard as BOI and ASIC.The comparison of NIPC with BOI and ASIC shows that NIPC has less legislative power then BOI and ASIC and these organizations have the authority to administer more laws and regulations as compared with NIPC. The incentives offered by BIO show the effective strategy of BOI to attract the foreign investors and NIPC still have bit complicated regulatory system that offer less incentives to the investors. Hence the scope and functioning of BIO and ASIC is wider then NIPC because these organizations enjoy more legislative and regulatory authorities. On the other hand NIPC has become a regulatory body that performs most of the function related with the regulation of investment and there is less concentration on the encouragement of promotion. This is also pointed by a report prepared by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) regarding the investment regime of Nigeria in 2001 that NIPC is acting more like a regulatory body then a promotion commission. Hence this create a big difference in the performance of NIPC as compared with BOI and ASIC.;7. Data Analysis and Recommendations7.1 Data AnalysisThe secondary data collected for the research provide in depth information about the issues related with the topic. The literature review explains the role of international law in international trade and also highlight the changes occurred in international trading scenario due to technological advancement. The regional and domestic integration and the organizations involved in it are also reviewed in the literature review. The dissertation further describes information from different aspects related with NIPC, WTO, UNCTAD and investment commissions of Thailand and Australia.It is revealed from the secondary data collected that WTO and UNCTAD have great role to play in the international trading operations and these organizations are also encouraging developing countries to play active role in international trade. However a developing country Nigeria is struggling to do better in this situation. The country has established NIPC to promote the investment opportunities of the country at national and international level so that the economic growth of the country could be accelerated. In this regard the commission is engaged in several activities and as a result the investment projects in many sectors of the Nigerian economy are also increased. However as compared with the investment commissions of other countries like Australia and Thailand the scope, legal framework and functions of NIPC is found narrow and weak.7.2 RecommendationsThere are many changes occurring in the scene of international trade and to keep align with these changes the trading organizations have to play an important role. In the new situation an open trade system is highly demanded and in order to acquire a liberal and open system of international trade the trading bodies are required to formulate their policies that can help in minimizing the trade barriers and assisting the poor countries so that they can also to survive in the highly competitive market of international trade. The organizations are also required to convince the member countries to take full advantage of the technological advancement taking place at high speed so that the trading functions between the countries could be operated in advance method and with more convenience.International law plays an integral role in international trade and the international trading bodies have the responsibility to formulate and implement adequate laws that can benefit the member countries, work for the settlement of disputed between them and promote the whole international trading system as well. The trading bodies have to keep their policies in accordance with the emerging trends and situation because in this way they can justify their existence. The trading bodies also have to keep in mind that the existence of WTO and NIPC took place to replace the formerly established trading bodies because those bodies (GATT and IDCC) were not functioning effectively. Hence there is great responsibility on these organizations that they have to cover up the flaws left by the previous organizations and along with that they have to take an active role in the new situation resulting after the globalizations and advancement in information and communication technology.The dissertation reviews the role and scope of NIPC in comparison with other commissions and it is suggest under the United Nations Agency for International Development that there should be some major structural changes in the commission hence the government of Nigeria has to keep in consideration these remarks and must emphasis on refocusing on the role of NIPC because it is an important organization with regard to the investment regime of the country. Finally the dissertation suggests that NIPC should concentrate more on the promotional activities by facilitating and encouraging the foreign investors and it should not work as a regulatory authority. The commission can also establish a division within the organization to look after the matter of registration and licensing of investment companies and the main emphasis of the commission should be on promotion and encouragement of foreign investments by facilitating the foreign investors so that FDI flow in the country could be raised and the economic development could be accelerated.In order to work effectively it is very essential that an investment promotion commission must have authority to take such steps that can facilitate the investors but in case of NIPC there are some important decisions that could not be taken by NIPC solely for example NIPC can not make decision to reduce the tax rate or import duty related with any sector of the Nigerian economy. If the commission want to take any such step then it is required to contact and communicate with the relevant federal department that share the authority to control the tariff and tax rate related with the import duties in their industry. It requires high level of coordination between NIPC and the federal department. To make this situation better wither NIPC should be given complete authority to make changes in the tariff rates and duties or there should be a higher level of communication and coordination between the federal departments and NIPC. At present it is revealed from the activities of NIPC that it arranges meetings with the representatives of federal department to build effective communication and coordination links but it is essential that this coordination should be raised and cooperation must be shown from both the sides. The departments often have their own interests and reservations regarding the tax and duties rate also different departments are marked with the attributed of corruption etc, so it is better that the control over the duties and tax rate must be possessed by a single authority that can make fair decision according to the requirement of the situation and can work for the promotion of investment opportunities in the country.NIPC also need adequate funding and it is very crucial for the government to provide sufficient funds to the commission so that NIPC can work efficiently after meeting all its demands. The financial resources are also important because with adequate amount of money NIPC can plan the promotional activities like seminar arrangement, conferences, publicity material publication etc.Hence in order to take the performance of NIPC at better standards the Nigerian government has to concentrate on following areasRestructuring and Reorganization of NIPC: it means that the government must revise all the duties and functions that are assigned to NIPC keeping in view the scope of the organization. the main objective of NIPC is the promotion of investment so the activities of the commission also reflect the same objective and for this the role of NIPC should be more an a promotion commission rather then a regulatory commissionAdequate funding is very essential for the effective performance of any organization. in case of NIPC, there is problem of proper financial resources provision and the government has to allot adequate amount of money to commission so that it can organza its activities in better wayTo maintain better standard of working performance, NIPC must appoint skilled and well qualified workforce and for this purpose also the commission should be provided with adequate financial resources. Adequate funds are also needed to conduct promotional activities like arrangement of conferences, seminars and publication of material etc.The commission has to concentrate more towards assisting the foreign investors by simplifying the registration and licensing procedures that is required for starting business in Nigeria.NIPC should also given enough legal authority that it can formulate and implement in the investment regime of Nigeria and can also take steps to lower down the tariff and import duties rates with out the interruption of other federal departments. At present NIPC has to consult with the relevant departments over this matter because it does not have the complete authority for legislation and implementation of laws.7.3 ConclusionThe dissertation reviews different issues related to the international trade and law. The study highlighted the impact of technology on the international trade operations and the role of major trading bodies in the emerging situation. The role of international law in international trade is highlighted in this study and it is revealed that for the agreements and treaties between the countries for trade, there is essential requirement of an acceptable and agreed upon system of international law so that the countries can develop trade relations among them according to that system. In the context the role of international trading and legal bodies is very important because these organizations ensure the proper implementation of the law as these organizations have the legal right to review the trade policies and actions of the member countries to monitor weather these countries are following the international trade law properly or not. The trading bodies also have an important role to play for minimizing the trade barriers and building an open atmosphere where the investors are encourages investing in different projects and in different countries.An important objective of the essay is to explain the role, activities and constitutional framework of NIPC to explain that how NIPC is performing its functions to improve the investment regime of Nigeria. Moreover the essay also discusses the role, activities and framework of NIPC with WTO, UNCTAD and EU so that the activities of the commission could be judge at international level. Moreover the essay compares NIPC with Thailand Board of Investment and Australian Securities Investments commission so that the role and standard of performance of NIPC can be tested and the factors could be point out that make difference in the performance of NIPC, BOI and ASIC. 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