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The number of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) has increased dramatically in the past decade. Until the mid-1970s, a bare handful of BITs existed, and the numbers increased only at a slow or moderate pace until the early 1990s. By September 1994, however, some 140 states had concluded more than 700 BITs, by 1999, more than 1300 BITs had entered into force among about 160 stats, and by the end of 2002, 2181 BITs had been signed. Particular provisions of BITs vary from state to state. But certain general features, which respond to the demands of expanding globalization and, as a consequence, the increasing interdependence of national economies, characterize virtually all BITs. BITs seek to establish a stable, orderly framework for investment by creating, as the preamble to a typical United Kingdom BIT states, 'favourable conditions for greater investment by nationals and companies of one state in the territory of the other state.'
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