From March 21 until March 24, twenty-five IPA officials from twenty countries assembled in the ILO International Training Center in Turin, Italy for the WAIPA-ILO Course “Effective investment facilitation and sustainable development”.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is vital to maintain and strengthen economic growth, integrate countries into the global economy, boost technological innovation and know-how, enhance skills transfer and contribute to the creation of decent work. But not all investments have the same development impacts. Getting the most out of FDI requires strategic thinking. Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) are the public face of governments seeking to increase investment and promote economic and social development. They are often instrumental in negotiating investment treaties and concluding investment contracts; and manage investment relationships through after care services. The course was jointly organized by WAIPA (World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, was part of the technical team, providing input on FDI and sustainable development.
Through the presentation of best practices and tools on investment promotion and after care services, participants gained a better understanding of how to improve investment facilitation, converting possible leads into real breakthrough investment projects. Furthermore, driven by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, participants actively examined the positive links between FDI, Decent Work and Sustainable Development.
In his opening lecture, WAIPA CEO Bostjan Skalar stated that “Investment promotion is about being a great observer of investor needs and matching them with host SDG goals”. This training is important because it brings participants up to speed with the latest trends and opportunities in investment facilitation.
FDI Consultant Andreas Dressler said that effective facilitation is an effective door opener for potential investors. He further elaborated on this by mentioning that that effective facilitation helps differentiation and in the end, is essential for winning projects and how damaging poor facilitation can be.
Furthermore, participants learned about the positive links between FDI, Decent Work and Sustainable Development through a case study about the direct connection among FDI and development. Ralf Krueger, Manager of the Sustainable Development Programme (SDP) of the International Training Centre of the ILO, led an exercise on the positive and negative effects FDI can have on development was held. Key points were that FDI is a valuable resource package that impacts in many ways, not just financial.
Bostjan Skalar stated the importance of aftercare: “Investment promotion doesn’t end with the contract signing it follows well into after care and reinvestment.” Because of the importance of after-care, we were delighted to have Paul Wessendorp, Chief of the UNCTAD Investment Promotion Section, making a presentation about aftercare services and investment promotion measures.
WAIPA thanks Emily Sims from ILO, Prof Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Perez and Martin G. Kaspar for their valuable presentations as well as its colleagues from ITCILO. Furthermore, WAIPA thanks Dilyara Tektigulova from KAZNEX INVEST, Samet Akyüz from ISPAT, Phillipe Yvergniaux from Business France and Tord Johnsen from the Department for International Trade of the UK for sharing their expertise and insights.
And last but not least WAIPA was happy to host participants from members all around the world incl.: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Italy, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mali, Pakistan, Portugal, Saint Lucia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey and Uganda.
Some testimonials from the training’s participants: