Burt Hicks, a concurrent degree student at the Clinton School of Public Service and the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, spent the fall semester in Mongolia researching a new law related to foreign investment in the country.
Under the supervision of John DiPippa, dean emeritus and distinguished professor of law and public policy at the Bowen School of Law, Hicks researched the Law on the Regulation of Foreign Investment in Entities Operating in Strategic Sectors that was enacted by the Mongolian Parliament in May 2012.
Hicks authored a paper that analyzed the law, compared it to foreign investment policies in other resource-rich countries, reviewed the law’s effect on foreign direct investment and provided policy recommendations for how to make the law more effective.
Hicks’ researched showed that developing countries with open foreign investment policies have a higher growth rate than those that do not, with positive consequence in social and economic development. However, certain provisions of the law have the international investment community concerned.
“The JD/MPS concurrent degree program at the Bowen School of Law and the Clinton School of Public Service is the only degree of its kind in the country and is a strong selling point for both of our schools,” said DiPippa, also a faculty member at the Clinton School. “Burt’s independent study is a prime example of how valuable the program can be to our students, and I hope we see many similar projects in the future.”
Hicks, who also completed his Clinton School Capstone project in Mongolia, was pleased that the independent study combined his graduate studies.
“Researching and writing about Mongolia’s new strategic foreign investment law gave me an opportunity to utilize skills gained from both my MPS and JD degrees, as I was able to provide a set of policy recommendations that can make the law more effective for Mongolia, which in turn could lead to improved economic development for the country,” Hicks said.
“My hope is that the Mongolian Parliament strongly considers amending the law in the coming months. By considering and acting upon the policy recommendations from my paper, Mongolia can maintain its national security and ensure that its valuable natural resources are not controlled by state-owned companies, while at the same time fostering an environment conducive to the foreign investment that is so desperately needed for the country’s continued development”