As we reach the last quarter of 2016, it is with great satisfaction that I look back on a year of WAIPA’s work where investment promotion has continued to thrive.
Building on decades of experience and a stellar strategy document, WAIPA has led nations out of their investment slump into more creative ways of being open to investment. We have promoted the idea of regional cooperation and unbounded use of technology to improve investment facilitation quality.
We have stepped up our engagement with our key stakeholders: The Private Sector. Private companies account for most of the FDI around the globe. WAIPA has taken great strides in getting the private sector engaged and on board especially at our World Investment Conference (WIC) 2015 in Milan. This event was hailed as the connector between Europe based private companies and investment agencies, especially from Asia and Africa.
A few achievements made this 2015-2016 period very special: We began a deep cooperation with the consultative committee starting in 2015 which flourished in 2016; we got recognized by an UNCTAD certificate as a strategic partner is contributing towards FDI; we participated in over 19 international events including 8 regional meetings and we seriously put our training hat on and offered some of the best FDI training content to members.
We made some spectacular global progress in the WAIPA G20 FDI conference in April 2015. Under my presidency, WAIPA has staged itself as a lead FDI promotion body and truly become a global reference point for FDI.
We are calling this period as “the era of a new investment promotion narrative”. It lies between protectionism and liberalism and offers a balance that the world now so desperately needs. It is the narrative of sustainable investment.
As we embark on this era, we want our partners to be in alignment with us. We have followed in the footsteps of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goals number 8, 9 and 10 are of particular importance and ultimately speak of empowering local communities and improving their wellbeing. World growth rate is modest and in such an uninspiring condition, bodies such as WAIPA become even more crucial. As WAIPA advocated for Investment
Agencies within their governments, internationally it signals the continuous need to churn the engines of growth, as it shares best practices of promotion. FDI thrives in activity, falters in dormancy, WAIPA ensures the hum of discussions, debates, analysis, data and results-oriented procedures on FDI all-year-round.
The central theme at this #WIC16 is the sustainable investment. For the first time, the WAIPA consultative committee is going to be part of the debate on sustainability with participation from senior game-changing officials from UNCTAD, UNIDO, IEDC, OECD and The World Bank.
Undoubtedly, we shall continue to be a part of finding ways to invest in a planet-friendly way; to determine new opportunities in which to reinforce IPAs and to help them achieve returns and rewards in terms of developing more robust FDI matrices.
I would like to convey my gratitude to our growing membership for their continuous cooperation. I am honoured to lead a WAIPA steering committee this term.