Pakistan and World Bank Settlement of Investment Disputes – Do not pay the unfair fine; oppose the unjust decision of ICSID

22 July by Farooq Tariq


This is a story of the dodgy deal by a multi national company and then earning massive amount of money through the so-called process of Settlement of Investment Disputes, a World Bank institution acting against developing countries.

This is a new way of exploitation of the under developed countries by these foreign investors where corruption is a way of life and lobbying for forcing the government to sign unjust contracts through retired military officers are done in routine. And If you dare to cancel these dodgy deals, then the World Bank World Bank
WB
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

comes to rescue you through its various institutions.

Here is some details of this unprecedented fine imposed on Pakistan.

World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID ICSID The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is a World Bank arbitration mechanism for resolving disputes that may arise between States and foreign investors. It was established in 1965 when the Washington Convention of that year entered into force.

Contrary to some opinions defending the fact that ICSID mechanism has been widely accepted in the American hemisphere, many States in the region continue to keep their distance: Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Dominican Republic are not party to the Convention. In the case of Mexico, this attitude is rated by specialists as “wise and rebellious”. We must also recall that the following Caribbean States remain outside the ICSID jurisdiction: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica (Commonwealth of) and Suriname. In South America, Brazil has not ratified (or even signed) the ICSID convention and the 6th most powerful world economy seems to show no special interest in doing so.

In the case of Costa Rica, access to ICSID system is extremely interesting: Costa Rica signed the ICSID Convention in September, 1981 but didn’t ratify it until 12 years later, in 1993. We read in a memorandum of GCAB (Global Committee of Argentina Bondholders) that Costa Rica`s decision resulted from direct United States pressure due to the Santa Elena expropriation case, which was decided in 2000 :
"In the 1990s, following the expropriation of property owned allegedly by an American investor, Costa Rica refused to submit the dispute to ICSID arbitration. The American investor invoked the Helms Amendment and delayed a $ 175 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to Costa Rica. Costa Rica consented to the ICSID proceedings, and the American investor ultimately recovered U.S. $ 16 million”.

https://icsid.worldbank.org/apps/ICSIDWEB/Pages/default.aspx
) has imposed a penalty of $5.976 billion on Pakistan — one of the biggest in its history — for the “unlawful denial of a mining lease” to a company in 2011.

The Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) — a joint venture between Chilean mining company Antofagasta and Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation — had filed claims for international arbitration in 2012 after the Balochistan government rejected a leasing request from the company for the Reko Diq project had claimed $11.43 billion in damages.

The Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement (Chejva) was signed between the Balochistan Development Authority (BDA) and BHP Minerals, incorporated in Delaware, United States.

The agreement stated that BHP and BDA would form a joint venture for prospecting and exploring gold and copper in Reko Diq. The joint venture was to “apply for up to ten” prospecting licences “covering an area of up to fifty square kilometres in the aggregate” with the provision that it could relinquish the whole or part of this area and apply for licences “over other areas”.

In another major provision of the agreement, BHP and BDA were to make a respective contribution of 75 per cent and 25 per cent to the money required for the project; they would share Share A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings. the revenues also by the same proportion.

However, the agreement was changed again and again in favour of the company after it was signed.

Finally, TCC proposed that only two percent of the total revenue would be given to Balochistan government and rest is for them.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan had in January 2013 declared the Reko Diq agreement void and in conflict with the country’s laws.

The government of Balochistan had in 2011 refused to grant a mining licence to TCC for the Reko Diq gold-cum-copper project.

The Balochistan government alleged that the company had not mentioned anything in its report about the processing of gold and copper, which was the main concern of the Balochistan government.

We demand from the Pakistani government not to pay this unfair fine. Pakistan must use all its sources to launch a campaign against this decision nationally and internationally. This unfair and unjust decision must be opposed on all platforms.



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