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A thirst for distant lands
Foreign investment in agricultural land and water
This paper focuses on the renewed interest in purchasing or leasing land, and securing water rights for agricultural production; it does not focus on other forms of foreign investment in agriculture. In Sections 2 and 3, it identifies the key drivers behind the recent surge in these investments, and examines prevailing trends in reported land contracts. In Section 4, the range of legal issues associated with these types of contracts, including in relation to domestic law, the international investment contracts and international investment agreements, is identified. While there are uncertainties due to the absence of any access to actual contracts, this section suggests the key issues that are propelling the rapid evolution of this area of foreign investment.