Document Type

Article

Abstract

This Article proposes that a national mineral policy ("NMP") can be crafted to generate foreign direct investment ("FDI") and strengthen sustainable development goals. Less-developed countries ("LDCs") typically overlook or underestimate this federal policy imperative while seeking to harness mineral resources.' Creation of a NMP and complementary changes to federal mining investment laws can provide host countries increased opportunities as well as autonomy to profit from their own natural resources and, at the same time, investor nations can benefit from a NMP because of further mining prospects.

This Article goes on to discuss how the formulation and implementation of a NMP can work to actualize sustainable development goals for LDCs. Typically, even a well-intentioned NMP may afford only superficial sustenance to subsurface investment projects because of the presently inadequate investment regime for extractive industries. If, however, LDCs develop and implement NMPs with investment safeguards for trade and export with foreign investors and multinational enterprises, then the countries can begin to more fully reap the rewards of previously stalled mining enterprise ventures. By way of example, I will explore how the world's second largest known gold reserves, located in the Central Asian state of Tajikistan, remain unearthed because of a precautionary and highly administrative approach to international investment law. With a NMP, Tajikistan can improve its national standing in the World Trade Organization ("WTO") as a member nation. The development of a NMP in Tajikistan can be effectuated by contextualizing historical happenings of nation building and conflict to advance macro-level international investment law and policy. Part I will provide an economic and political snapshot to natural resource development in Tajikistan. Part II will coalesce overlapping goals of mining enterprises and international investment for sustainable development. Finally, Part III will show how to create a framework for international investment law and policy to facilitate an advantageous NMP for host countries. The case of Tajikistan's unearthed gold reserves will demonstrate why the making of a NMP is crucial not only in the case of Tajikistan, but other mineral-rich LDCs, to augment FDI for mining enterprises.