Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil: From 13-14 September 2017, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) in partnership with the Paraná State Development Agency (APD) organized the Latin American Investment Conference. More than 200 participants from 20 countries participated in the conference under the theme “Connecting strategies. Creating opportunities.”
The conference aimed to promote the debate on investment attraction strategies and to share good practices between participating countries and investment agencies with a promise to create opportunities for the whole region.
WAIPA as the global reference point for FDI with an objective to increase FDI, especially in the emerging world was actively involved in the programming of the conference. WAIPA CEO Bostjan Skalar was invited to address the audience with a speech at the opening ceremony. He said, “We are here to identify and resolve obstacles to cooperation and growth.” He shed a light on increasing dependency and said that thinking regionally has become more essential today than ever. “We share a common business environment and it binds our fates together. The policies we implement today have long lasting regional imprints. And this makes us more responsible for actions that affect the global economy. Therefore, we shall follow the paradigm of cooperation over competition.”
The event also hosted an innovative A2A Agency-to-Agency collaboration and exchange session aiming to build new partnerships, exchange practices and foster collaboration among Latin America IPAs at country, state and local levels.
WAIPA CEO had a pleasure of moderating the panel “The New Role of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) ” where the discussant agreed that the sustainable development considerations have made investment policy making more challenging and multifaceted. IPAs are now responsible for incorporating development considerations in plans to attract foreign investment, while balancing investor rights and obligations.
Another major factor contributing to the change in the role of IPAs is the impact of regional attractiveness on FDI inflows to individual economies. Countries complementing each other in a region improve the regional competitiveness in seeking FDI inflows. IPAs now have to collaborate with more partners and build image of the region while focusing on sustainability of all initiatives.