During his recent visit to Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa assured investors that SA would "do all in its power to ensure economic policy certainty". This is an important message as the world grapples with the upending of the post-Second World War liberal economic order and the rise of economic nationalism in major economies such as the UK and the US. A critical element of policy certainty for foreign investors is the predictability and reliability of the dispute-settlement systems to which they have access. A few weeks before Davos, while most South Africans were on holiday, the trade and industry minister published draft regulations to govern the mediation of investment disputes between foreign investors and the South African government for public comment by January 30. These draft regulations were published under the controversial Protection of Investment Act, passed in 2015 to "replace" various bilateral investment treaties S...

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