The 3rd Virtual Capacity Building Workshop on Investment Facilitation for Development was organized on 23rd September by German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut fuer Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), International Trade Centre, World Economic Forum and WAIPA with the aim to support the negotiations of a multilateral framework on investment facilitation for development.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) can play a significant role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in developing countries. However, FDI flows need to be ramped up considerably to make a marked contribution in order to meet this objective. This is all the more important now because global FDI flows may decrease by 30% to 40% during 2020-2021. This makes the facilitation of FDI flows-and especially the facilitation of sustainable FDI flows-urgent.

Beyond such economic fundamentals as market size and growth, the quality of infrastructure and the level of skills, the impediments to sustainable FDI flows to developing countries can include:

  • low levels of predictability and transparency of the regulatory framework,
  • difficulties of undertaking investment, 
  • lack of incentives to contribute as much as possible to sustainable development.

To deal with these challenges, 101 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are negotiating a multilateral framework on investment facilitation for development.

In this context, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) have launched a project on “Investment Facilitation for Development.” The project supports the negotiations of a multilateral framework on investment facilitation for development by:

  • building negotiation capacity in developing (including least developed) countries,
  • channelling ground-level and analytical expertise to negotiators,
  • promoting public discussions of issues related to investment facilitation for development.

Under the Chatham House Rule, this workshop facilitated interactive and results-oriented discussion among delegates, government officials, representatives of investment promotion agencies and multinational enterprises as well as technical experts. After opening address by Rajesh Aggarwal, Chief, Trade Facilitation & Policy for Business Section, International Trade Centre (ITC), Mathias Francke, Ambassador-designate of Chile to the WTO, Coordinator of the Structured Discussions on Investment Facilitation for Development gave a keynote speech, followed by two sessions where the participants discussed on the topic.

It was highlighted that the FDI lifecycle is a journey and each stage is equally important for investors. Furthermore, concrete IF measures shall include strategic incentives, especially more support shall be given to investors who wants to commit to development ideas as well as connecting foreign and local firms by creating databases.

Concluding remarks were given by WAIPA CEO Bostjan Skalar.