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Laws relating to Doing Business Abroad

An entrepreneur while expanding and growing his/her business abroad must take into account the basic legal framework of the particular foreign country as well. It is necessary for him/ her to abide by such laws and regulations in order to ensure efficient and healthy functioning of the organisation and face the various challenges that he/ she may encounter abroad.

In order to encourage capital inflows and provide safe business environment for all investments abroad, many countries have entered into bilateral investment treaties or agreements. Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) is one such bilateral treaty which is defined as an agreement between two countries (or States) for the reciprocal encouragement, promotion and protection of investments in each other's territories by the companies based in either country (or State). These bilateral agreements have, by and large, standard elements and provide a legal basis for enforcing the rights of the investors in the countries involved. The Government of India has, so far, signed BIPAs with 58 countries out of which 49 BIPAs have already come into force and the remaining agreements are in the process of being enforced.

In India, the most important law which regulates all foreign exchange transactions including investments abroad is the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA),1999 . It is an investor friendly legislation which aims to facilitate external trade and payments as well as promote an orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market. Under the Act, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been authorised to frame various rules, regulations and norms pertaining to overseas investments in consultation with the Central Government.

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