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Exchange of Notes between the Government of Canada and the Government of Belize constituting a Foreign Investment Insurance Agreement [1976] CATSer 4 (17 February 1976)

E101472 - CTS 1976 No. 14



The Commissioner for Canada to the Premier and Minister of Finance of Belize

BELMOPAN, BELIZE, February 17, 1976

The Honourable George C. Price
Premier & Minister of Finance
Belmopan, Belize


I have the honour to refer to discussions which have recently taken place between representatives of our two Governments relating to investments in Belize which would further the development of economic relations between Belize and Canada, and to insurance of such investments by the Government of Canada through its agent the Export Development Corporation. I also have the honour to confirm the following understandings reached as a result of those discussions:

1. In the event of a payment by the Export Development Corporation under a contract of insurance for any loss by reason of:

(a) war, riot, insurrection, revolution or rebellion in Belize;

(b) the arbitrary seizure, expropriation, confiscation or deprivation of use of any property by a Government, or agency thereof, in Belize;

(c) any action by a Government, or agency thereof, in Belize, other than action of the kind described in sub-paragraph (b) that deprives the investor of any right in, or in connection with, an investment; and

(d) any action by a Government, or agency thereof, in Belize, that prohib­its or restricts transfer of any money or removal of any property from that country;

the said Corporation, hereinafter called the “Insuring Agency” shall be authorized by the Government of Belize to exercise the rights having devolved on it by law or having been assigned to it by the predecessor in title.

2. But to the extent that the laws of Belize partially or wholly invalidate the acquisition by the Insuring Agency of any interests in any property within the territory of Belize, the Government of Belize shall permit the investor and the Insuring Agency to make appropriate arrangements pursuant to which such interests are transferred to an entity permitted to own such interest under the laws of Belize.

3. The Insuring Agency shall assort no greater rights than those of the transferring investor under the laws of Belize with respect to any interest transferred or succeeded to as contemplated in paragraph 1. The Government of Canada does, however, reserve its right to assert a claim in its sovereign capacity in the event of a denial of justice or other question of state responsi­bility as defined in international law but in that respect nothing contained herein shall be construed as imposing any liability on the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which, save in this respect, is responsible for the international relations of Belize.

4. Should the said Insuring Agency acquire, under investment insurance contracts, amounts and credits of the lawful currency of Belize, the said Government of Belize shall accord to those funds treatment no different that than which it would accord if such funds were to remain with the investor, and such funds shall be freely available to the Government of Canada to meet its expenditures in the territory of Belize.

5. This Agreement shall apply only with respect to insured investments in projects or activities approved in writing by the Government of Belize.

6. Differences between the two Governments concerning the interpreta­tion and application of provisions of this Agreement or any claim arising out of investments insured in accordance with this Agreement, against either of the two Governments, which in the opinion of the other presents a question of public international law shall be settled, insofar as possible, through negotia­tions between Governments. If such differences cannot be resolved within a period of three months following the request for such negotiations, it shall be submitted, at the request of either Government, to an ad hoc tribunal for settlement in accordance with applicable principles and rules of public inter­national law. The arbitral tribunal shall consist of three members and shall be established as follows: each Government shall appoint one arbitrator; a third member, who shall act as Chairman, shall be appointed by the other two members. The Chairman shall not be a national of either country. The arbitrators shall be appointed within two months and the Chairman within three months of the date of receipt of either Government’s request for arbitration. If the foregoing time limits are not met, either Government may, in the absence of any other agreement, request the President of the Interna­tional Court of Justice to make the necessary appointment or appointments and both Governments agree to accept such appointment or appointments. The arbitral tribunal shall decide by majority vote. Its decision shall be binding and definitive. Each of the Governments shall pay the expense of its member and its representation in the proceedings before the arbitral tribunal; expenses of the Chairman and other costs shall be paid in equal parts by the two Governments. The arbitral tribunal may adopt other regulations concern­ing costs. In all other matters, the arbitral tribunal shall regulate its own procedures. Only the respective Governments may request arbitral procedure and participate in it.

I have the honour to propose that, if the foregoing is acceptable to your Government, this Note, which is authentic in English and French, and your reply to that effect shall constitute an Agreement between our two Govern­ments which shall enter into force on the date of your reply. This Agreement shall continue in force until terminated by either Government on six months’ notice in writing to the other. In the event of termination, the provisions of the Agreement shall continue to apply, in respect of insurance contracts issued by the Government of Canada while the Agreement was in force, for the dura­tion of these contracts; provided that in no case shall the Agreement continue to apply to such contracts for a period longer than 15 years after the termina­tion of this Agreement.

Accept, Excellency, renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

J. M. Harrington

Commissioner for Canada


The Premier and Minister of Finance of Belize to the Commissioner for Canada

BELMOPAN, BELIZE, February 17, 1976

His Excellency John M. Harrington
Commissioner for Canada
Kingston, Jamaica


I have the honour to refer to your Note of today’s date on the subject of an Investment Insurance Agreement.

I have the honour to confirm that the provisions of that Note are accept­able to the Government of Belize, and that consequently the text of your Note and this reply constitute an Agreement between our two Governments. This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of this reply and shall remain in force until terminated by either Government on six months notice in writing to the other.

Accept, Excellency, renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

George C. Price,

Premier of Belize

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