The opportunities offered by international investment are vast. Individuals and organisations made direct, foreign investments estimated at US$1.4 trillion worldwide in 2012, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

Such investments can take various forms, including the formation of overseas subsidiaries, the acquisition of foreign entities or the establishment of joint ventures. In selecting and operating the investment vehicle, it is imperative that the particular investment and business laws of the relevant jurisdiction are taken into account and complied with.

This report examines and summarises some of the key legal issues in a number of jurisdictions generally considered to be attractive destinations for foreign investors. In particular, it considers:

  • The "BRIC" countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China;
  • The top 10 "advanced" markets in terms of ease of doing business, according to the World Bank's "Doing Business" rankings; and
  • 12 leading "emerging" markets.

In compiling this report, we are grateful to the ADVOC members in each of the jurisdictions surveyed, who have assisted us in preparing the legal summaries with their helpful comments and additions.