A gateway to ‘treaty shopping’ for investment protection by multinational companies

Multinational companies (MNCs) investing abroad have been using Dutch bilateral investment treaties (BITs) to sue host country governments for over 100 billion dollars for alleged damages to the profitability of their investments. This is one of the outcomes of new SOMO research into the unknown and opaque field of Dutch BITs and their legal impacts. In addition, the majority of the companies availing themselves of the generous investment protections offered by Dutch BITs are so-called mailbox companies, companies with no employees on their payroll and no real economic activity in the Netherlands. It is a known fact that many transnational companies choose the jurisdiction of the Netherlands as the base for their global trade and investment operations because of its favorable tax regime that facilitates corporate tax avoidance strategies (SOMO, 2007).

read more less
would you like to make a donation?