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Should FDI be restricted on national security grounds?

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13th March 2019

Time: 17.30-19.00 (Registration from 17.00)
Followed by a drinks reception

Venue: Jones Day, 21 Tudor Street, London ECY 0DJ

There is an increasing tendency the world over to regulate foreign direct investments (FDI) to curb the influence of foreign powers on national security grounds. In Australia, authorities recently thwarted Huawei and ZTE's attempt to become a 5G provider citing national security concerns.

In the United States, the authority of CIFUS to review inbound investments on national security grounds is being expanded and appears to be used ever more aggressively by the current administration, especially against China.

In Germany, there is an ongoing debate about letting strategic industries (e.g. automotive) be bought by foreign investors, and there are efforts at the EU level to regulate FDI on grounds of security and public order.

In the United Kingdom, much has been said about Chinese investments in strategic sectors such as in Hinkley Point. Following concerns by the head of the Secret Service with Huawei's 5G technology, British Telecoms (BT) removed Huawei equipment from parts of its 4G network. The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently ran a consultation on proposed reforms to government's powers for scrutinising investment for the purposes of protecting national security.

All of these cases, therefore, raise the question about sensible limits to FDI, and the various rule of law implications this entails. The event will thus review the various arguments in favour of and against regulating FDI on national security grounds by considering the legal and rule of law dimensions. The discussion will have an international outlook, both in and outside the UK and the EU.


Professor Mary E Footer, Professor of International Economic Law, School of Law, University of Nottingham


  • Sylvia Baule, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Trade, European Commission
  • Tomoko Ishikawa, Associate Professor, Nagoya University, Graduate School of International Development, ICSID Conciliator
  • Chrysoula Mavromati, Legal Adviser, Disputes, Development & Investment Team, Department for International Trade
  • Oliver Welch, Interim Director of NDI, and Head of Defence and Security Policy, EEF, the manufacturers' organisation

Join in the conversation @BinghamCentre #FDI #RuleofLaw

Pricing and Registration

This event is free to attend however pre-registration is required.

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