Since 2007, the financial media and international conference circuit have been sounding the alarm about a growing international trend of “natural resource nationalism.” Commodity prices have trended upward, even following the global economic crisis in 2008, and governments around the world have been taking another look at their share of the soaring revenues from the mining and hydrocarbon sectors. Monitoring this international trend of fiscal reforms in extractive industries is an ongoing part of the VCC’s research. The VCC has just completed a study of select fiscal reforms in the mineral and hydrocarbon sectors in both developed and developing countries, evaluating the impact of reforms on a country's attractiveness for investment in the resource sectors (forthcoming in the Yearbook on International Investment Law & Policy 2011-2012). The VCC is also studying whether particular mechanisms like progressive taxation regimes or periodic review would reduce conflict, help manage inherent risks and fluctuations in the sector, or reduce the overall need for fiscal reforms.
To that end, the VCC has compiled a database of all fiscal reforms since the 1990's for all oil-rich countries with legislated fiscal terms or model contracts, identifying whether the fiscal reforms led to the introduction of progressive fiscal instruments. The VCC welcomes any comments on this database, and in particular, those highlighting inaccuracies.