London, United Kingdom – on March 23rd, WAIPA CEO Bostjan Skalar participated in the ICC-WBO commission on Trade and Investment Policy titled “Driving Inclusive Growth through Trade and Investment”.
The Commission came together to drive a new sense of urgency in revitalizing the WTO by delivering new and better results from negotiations. Why is this new sense of urgency necessary? Three developments come to mind, firstly investment remains muted. While FDI flows have risen in the past year, they consistently remain well below pre-crisis levels of outward and inward investment flows. A second factor is the weakening of trade, which presents WTO Members with an economic context that is different from the recent past. This influences economic growth models and real-time social-economic expectations for citizens. Thirdly, the global trading system is being challenged by increasing protectionism. The three developments taken together present a considerable challenge to the agenda of free trade, and seriously hamper foreign direct investment. For WAIPA it is essential that investment promotion agencies are recognized for the powerful influence they have on attracting foreign direct investment, facilitating investors and ensuring -through proper aftercare- that investors maintain or even expand their investments. One of the main instruments to win an investor’s attention is the investment promotion agency’s website. Bostjan Skalar underlined that “an Investment Agency website is the first assessment an investor makes about a region to invest in.” WAIPA proudly supports the ICC and WTO campaign “Trade Matters”.