CONNEX Support Unit
The CONNEX Support Unit is an implementing body of the CONNEX Initiative that was launched at the G7 Summit in Brussels in 2014. Its objective is to strengthen advisory support to developing and transitioning country governments in their negotiation of complex investment contracts, initially focusing on the extractive sector.
CONNEX Support can be requested during direct (re)negotiations of complex investment contracts, as well as assistance during the pre-negotiation phase when a government is preparing for upcoming (re)negotiations.
The purpose of this support is to negotiate reliable contracts that are commercially viable and contribute to the sustainable development of host countries. For that purpose, the Support Unit provides regional and international experts with extensive knowledge and practical experience to requesting governments. Experts are selected in consultation with the requesting governments, according to the needs specific to the contracts being negotiated and the requesting governments.
Negotiation Support General
Support from CONNEX has no regional focus. Developing and transition economies from any geographic region can request support and assistance from the CONNEX Support Unit.
CONNEX Support can be requested for ongoing (re)-negotiations of large extractive contracts as well as to help during the pre-negotiation phase when a government is preparing for upcoming (re-)negotiations.
We provide assistance for complex large-scale investment contract negotiations, initially in the extractive sector.
Collaboration with partners:
The CONNEX Support is designed to complement assistance offered by other initiatives and cooperates with a range of organizations such as ISLP and ALSF.
Additionally we were or currently are actively involved in relevant dialogue platforms, such as the OECD, the IGF, the NEPAD Agency and others to improve knowledge sharing and peer learning on negotiation support among support providers, partner countries, investors and civil society.
Types of expertise:
The experts provided by the Support Unit include not merely lawyers, but also financial and industry experts, business strategy specialists, economists, environmental specialists, community development specialists, geologists, mining engineers, or any other discipline needed in the context of specific project negotiations.
Number of in-house experts:
We work with an expert pool and subcontract experts demand-orientated according to requested support. Since CONNEX Support is flexible in format, additional partners can be contacted in case the contemporary pool of experts does not reflect the expertise and knowledge needed by the requesting government.
Length of involvement:
The scope, shape and content of support are tailored to the needs of the cases at hand. Representatives of governments receiving assistance are closely involved in defining the support required in order to ensure that their needs are fully taken into account. CONNEX Support can vary from issue-specific short-term assistance to long-term negotiation support.
Fee/non-fee based support:
All support offered by the CONNEX Support Unit is free of charge and non-fee based.
Speed of response:
The Support Unit attempts to minimize the time between receiving requests for support and fielding negotiating support as much as possible.
The CONNEX Support Unit gets active when a strong commitment by the host government is given.
Types of negotiation support
The CONNEX Support Unit provides a variety of pre-negotiation assistance.
Contract Negotiation Stage:
The CONNEX Support Unit provides direct negotiation support.
Advancing Knowledge-Sharing and Management:
Delivering training/capacity building: The CONNEX Support Unit believes that having advisors work with officials in the preparation for, and negotiation of, individual contracts is an effective way of building the capacity of local officials that will be needed for future negotiations and training officials to monitor and enforce contracts they negotiate.
Advancing knowledge management and sharing: CONNEX is actively involved in relevant dialogue platforms, such as the OECD, the IGF, the NEPAD Agency and others to improve knowledge sharing and peer learning on negotiation support among support providers, partner countries, investors and civil society.