By: Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile
This Article offers a critical and penetrating insight into the bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between Turkey and countries in Africa. Since 2003, Turkey has concluded BITs with twenty-eight countries in Africa. This Article seeks answers to some very important questions. In the BITs between Turkey and countries in Africa, is Turkey merely conforming to the norms and standards established by Western countries, or is Turkey changing these norms in fundamental ways? Compared to BITs between Western nations and countries in Africa, are Turkey–Africa BITs more oriented towards sustainable development and, if so, in what respects? In what ways are emerging market economies such as Turkey transforming the global economic landscape and international economic law?
This Article fills an important gap in the literature on international investment law and the role of emerging market economies in the global economic system. Thus, although focused on Turkey–Africa investment relations, this Article sheds important light on three broader issues. First, this Article offers a glimpse into the way emerging market economies are using and sometimes transforming international economic law. Second, this Article takes on one of the most important issues in international economic law today—the crisis in the international investment law—and examines how different stakeholders are grappling with this crisis. Third, this Article sheds important light on the dynamics of South–South economic relations and how countries in Africa are moving beyond traditional (Western) partners and are engaging or attempting to engage with new partners in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Although emerging market economies and emerging market multinationals are playing an incredibly significant role in the global economy and are changing global economic governance in significant ways, their involvement in the making and unmaking of international economic law is frequently ignored or misunderstood. This Article addresses this by offering critical insight into how emerging market economies are using, adapting, and sometimes abandoning established international economic norms.