The Legal and Economic Implications of WTO Accession by the Gulf Arab States
The nexus of legal and economic modernisation is further demonstrated through the nexus of Investment and Commercial Arbitration Laws with economic growth. The author maintains that legislation that encourages investment and trade plays an active role in enhancing regional and global economic development. As a result of accession to the WTO, the Gulf Arab States have begun the process of modernising their International Investment and International Arbitration Laws to meet the requirements of the WTO and that this has not come about as a result of any legal obligation imposed by the WTO-GATT but as a result of practical reasons. Notably, SD Myers v Canada demonstrates the point of convergence in the FET standard in both WTO & BIT arbitrations. This is undeniably a positive development that has seen the growth of Gulf Arab Regional Arbitration Centres in Bahrain (under the auspices of the Commercial Arbitration Centre for the States of the Co-Operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf) and in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai International Arbitration Centre DIAC and the Dubai International Finance Centre DIFC Free Zone), as well as modern arbitration laws. Critics who argue that investment does not foster economic growth ignore the benefits to local communities of infrastructure and other projects that bring funding into a country. In that light, it is argued herein that investment and arbitration laws do much to help or hinder investment and economic growth; because investment has been empirically shown to improve local economies, notably in the case of Egypt. Arguably, the new Gulf Arbitration Centres and legislation are an enormous step towards the fulfilment of WTO economic goals and demonstrate the value of accession to Gulf Arab States in the areas of economic development and legislative modernisation. The main aim of this study therefore is to establish the impact of WTO accession on GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Countries’ Arbitration Laws; a claim that will be substantiated by evidence and has heretofore never been discussed before, thus the contribution of new knowledge that this paper presents.
Mary B. Ayad PhD Candidate. "The Legal and Economic Implications of WTO Accession by the Gulf Arab States" Gulf Research Centre Gulf Research Meeting Cambridge. Harker Room, Earth Sciences Building, Downing Site, Cambridge United Kingdom. Jul. 2011.