Workshop on Investment Facilitation for Development

10 July 2017, WTO, Room W

“What Investment can do for Trade Connectivity and Development – Investment Needs and Bottlenecks”

    A workshop organized by the Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development (FIFD) consisting of 11 WTO members: Argentina; Brazil; Chile; China; Colombia; Hong Kong, China; Kazakhstan; Korea; Mexico; Nigeria; and Pakistan. The workshop will bring together WTO members, experts from international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and academia to share their experiences and best practices in the implementation of investment facilitation measures.

    It will explore how investment facilitation policies and measures can help countries foster development, diversify their export capacity, integrate into global value chains (GVCs) and link up to the digital economy. The discussion will also be informed by views from the private sector concerning the ground-level obstacles when investing in various countries. In addition, the workshop will showcase concrete policies, tools and best practices that governments can adopt to facilitate investment, such as improving regulatory transparency and predictability, streamlining and speeding up administrative procedures, and enhancing international cooperation. Finally, it will consider how various investment facilitation elements highlighted during the workshop reflect core WTO principles and how they could be further addressed in the ongoing WTO Informal Dialogue on Investment Facilitation for Development.

    Programme

    Opening Remarks

    09:15-10:00

    Moderator: Ambassador Syed Tauqir Shah, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the WTO

    • Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Commerce, Government of Pakistan - opening remarks
    • Mr. Abrão Árabe Neto, Secretary of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, Brazil - presentation
    • Mr. Yi Xiaozhun, Deputy Director-General, WTO

    Session 1: Developing countries' investment needs Role of investment in connecting to GVCs, linking to the digital economy and building productive capacity that is internationally competitive

    10:00-11:15

    This session will explore the role of investment (and investment policies) in fostering development. Delivered in the right way, investment helps countries to connect to GVCs, link up to the digital economy, enhance their internationally-competitive productive capacity and diversify their exports. Acknowledging that outcomes depend on country-specific circumstances and that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution, this session will address the following questions: How can investment be mobilized to address developing countries' and LDCs' needs in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How can investment policies, programmes and measures foster better connectivity and integration into GVCs? What are the key questions that trade and investment policy-makers should consider?

    Moderator: Ms. Irene B.K. Young, Permanent Representative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China to the WTO

    Speakers:

    • Ms. Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank Group
      Developing countries' investment needs.  How to encourage larger and more diversified FDI flows to developing countries and LDCs, notably in key infrastructure sectors. Trade and investment policies to maximize positive development impact in host countries. Presentation
    • Mr. Joakim Reiter, Group External Affairs Director, Vodafone Group
      Role of investment for connecting to, and spearheading, the digital economy; better understanding of the conditions and policies needed for promoting investment in infrastructure.
    • Mr. Fu Jun, Academic Dean, Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development at Peking University
      China's experience in attracting different types of investment to foster its development.
    • Ms. Iza Lejarraga, Head of Investment Policy Linkages Unit, OECD
      How trade and investment policies can maximise host countries' benefits from FDI for export capacity-building and diversification, and sustainable growth. Whole-of-government approach, how to promote the framework conditions for quality investment to support national and regional development objectives (with a particular emphasis on investment facilitation policies). Presentation

    Panel discussion followed by a Q&A session.

    Session 2: Investment facilitation needs: a business perspective

    11:15-12:30

    This session will focus on the ground-level obstacles to investment – such as the lack of transparency of legal or administrative requirements and the lack of efficiency of administrative processes faced by investors, as well as other factors raising the costs of doing business – and what could be done to address them effectively. The aim is to enable a constructive dialogue with the private sector to guide WTO Members about the issues that an international framework on investment facilitation could usefully address.

    Moderator: Ambassador Roberto Zapata, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the WTO

    Speakers:

    • Mr. Sean Doherty, Head of International Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum
      Overview of the business perspective on investment facilitation and key private sector needs and requests in this regard. Presentation
    • Dr. Christoph Sprich, Senior Manager, International Trade and Development, B20 and Federation of German Industries (BDI)
      Main obstacles faced by business when investing in foreign markets and how they can be addressed through investment facilitation from the perspective of the German industry and B20 business community.
    • Ms. Nicolle Graugnard, Senior Policy Manager, Trade and Investment, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
      Interaction between governments and the private sector, and the key challenges faced when investing in different countries. Concrete examples showcasing the role of investment facilitation in overcoming these challenges. Presentation
    • Mr Yao Weiqun, Deputy Chief Executive, Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center
      How can the local government respond to business needs in implementing investment facilitation measures. Presentation

    Panel discussion followed by a Q&A session. 

    Session 3: Investment Facilitation: review of existing policy practices at the national, bilateral and regional level, and lessons learnt

    14:00-16:00

    This session will go deeper into concrete policies and practices that governments can implement to facilitate investment in areas such as: improving regulatory transparency and predictability; streamlining and speeding up administrative procedures; enhancing international cooperation and building constructive stakeholder relationships; and addressing the needs of developing Members. The session is meant to inform further discussions and could form the basis for possible elements to be addressed in the WTO Informal Dialogue on Investment Facilitation for Development. The session will showcase concrete investment facilitation policies and programmes at the national, bilateral and regional level, and demonstrate how they have enabled countries to attract not only more, but also better quality investment geared towards their development needs.

    Moderator: Ambassador Juan Carlos González, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the WTO

    Speakers:

    • Mr. James Zhan, Director, Investment and Enterprise Division, UNCTAD
      Scene-setting on investment facilitation. Objectives; policies, tools and good practices at the national, regional and international level. Presentation
    • Ambassador Héctor Casanueva, Permanent Representative of Chile to the WTO
      Chile's experience concerning investment facilitation at the national and regional level. Presentation
    • Ms. Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)
      Nigeria's investment facilitation policies comprising, inter alia, the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council chaired by the Vice President and the recent launch of an online business registration portal allowing companies to reserve their names electronically. Presentation
    • Ms. Wang Jing, First Secretary, Department of Foreign Investment Administration, MOFCOM
      China’s recent reform measures on foreign investment facilitation. Presentation
    • Mr. Necmettin Kaymaz, Chief Project Director, Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT)
      ISPAT is a national investment promotion agency with wide-ranging policy-advocacy and government-feedback prerogatives and practice.  The speaker will share ISPAT's experience with investment facilitation policies and tools, and its feedback function to the government of Turkey regarding possible investment bottlenecks faced by foreign investors. Presentation

    Panel discussion followed by a Q&A session. 

    Workshop participants are invited to comment on approaches to investment facilitation at the national, bilateral, regional and international level.

    Session 4 Wrap-up: Closing Remarks How the WTO could contribute

    16:00-17:30

    The wrap-up session will look at how the different investment facilitation elements highlighted during the Workshop reflect core WTO principles and could form the basis for further discussions, including on transparency, predictability, efficiency and streamlining of administrative procedures, international cooperation, capacity-building and technical assistance.

    Moderator: Ambassador Zhang Xiangchen, Permanent Representative of China to the WTO

    • Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, WTO - Speech

    Speakers:

    • Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhanova, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the WTO
    • Ambassador Choi Kyonglim, Permanent Representative of Korea to the WTO
    • Ambassador Monique Van Daalen, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the WTO
    • Ambassador Hector Marcelo Cima, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the WTO (Coordinator of the WTO Informal Dialogue on Investment Facilitation for Development)

    The speakers will present their 'reflections' on the Workshop emphasising the importance of discussing investment facilitation at the international level, the value-added that the WTO could bring – notably to strengthen trade and investment policy coherence – and outlining possible next steps.