What are bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and where can I find them?
Last Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are agreements between states establishing minimum guarantees regarding the treatment of foreign investments.
UNCTAD's International Investment Agreements Navigator is the most comprehensive freely available source of BITs online. Along with BITs, the International Investment Agreement Navigator also has a selection of Treaties with Investment Provisions (TIPs). The database allows you to select agreements based on country, economy, country groupings and to view model agreements. Links are provided to the full text, when available.
The World Bank Group's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) also maintains a free online Database of Bilateral Investment Treaties. This database allows you search for treaties by party but the full text of most these BITs can be found in ICSID’s Investment Treaty Series.
ICSID also maintains a list of Other Investment Treaties covering multilateral investment treaties and multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements with investment provisions with links to the full text of the agreements.
If a bilateral treaty has been registered with the UN Secretariat, it will be published in the UN Treaty Series. From this database, you can search for treaties and filter by participant (countries), English title, French title, date and place of conclusion, among other features. A Website User Guide is available to help with navigating the Treaty Collection website.
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.