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Foreign Direct Investment in the OECD Fisheries Sector

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  • Restrictions on flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in most sectors of OECD countries have been significantly reduced in recent years. In contrast, FDI in the fish harvesting sectors of OECD countries is still heavily restricted through a range of measures including outright bans on FDI, maximum allowable levels of FDI, restrictions on the nationality of captain and crew, location of head offices, and so on. The data on FDI flows to the sector is very limited due to aggregation problems, although anecdotal evidence indicates that FDI flows within OECD countries in the harvesting sector are relatively minor compared with flows from OECD to non-OECD countries. At the same time, FDI in the processing and aquaculture sectors is quite open, with minimal restrictions in place. This paper examines the policy issues underlying the restrictions on FDI to the sector. As with other trade liberalisation issues in the fish harvesting sector, such as tariff and subsidy reform, the effects of investment liberalisation will depend crucially on the effectiveness of the management regime in place in the countries to which the FDI is directed. An index of FDI restrictiveness is developed to enable cross-country comparisons to be undertaken. Several key reasons for maintaining FDI restrictions are examined in the paper including concerns over sovereignty, distributional issues, domestic industry protection, and enforcement of regulations.
  • KEYWORDS: Foreign Direct Investment, Trade Liberalisation, Industry Protection
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  • Cox, Anthony. 2006. Foreign Direct Investment in the OECD Fisheries Sector. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 11-14, 2006, Portsmouth, UK: Rebuilding Fisheries in an Uncertain Environment. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2006. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-3-1
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  • The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Marine Fisheries Service, United States Department of Commerce (NOAA Fisheries); United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); The United States Agency for International Development supported Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Support Program (ACRSP).
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