Trade and Investment Rules for Energy
The World Energy Council appointed a Task Force in early 2008 to examine Trade and Investment Rules for Energy, following approval of its Terms of Reference by the WEC Studies Committee the previous November. The mandate of the Task Force was to review developments in the WTO, the Doha Round and elsewhere and, where desirable, to make recommendations for trade rules governing energy goods, services and investments.
The Task Force held several meetings during 2008, in person and by telephone, including a meeting during the WEC Executive Assembly in Mexico City, on
4-5 November. This was followed by a Task Force meeting in Geneva on 11 February 2009, to which a number of outside experts were invited to provide their insights and assistance. The present report is based on these deliberations.
The Task Force decided at the outset to focus attention on five critical issues facing the energy industry. These are: (1) Border measures and WTO/GATT rules; (2) Investment rules and transborder energy; (3) Trade in energy services; (4) Trade in environmentally-friendly goods and services; and (5) Cross-border movement of energy sector personnel.
The work has proceeded while the global financial crisis deepened. Taking stock of the global downturn and the challenges all countries were facing in restoring confidence in the financial markets, it was recognized that a robust and vibrant energy sector is one of the necessary elements for emerging from this crisis. With this in mind, the Task Force proceeded with its examination of the five priority topics it had identified earlier. The following Executive Summary distils the conclusions reached in this examination.