Posted by: APO | 21 April 2008

UNCTAD XII in Accra / LATEST REPORT IN UNCTAD INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERIES FOCUSES ON ADVOCATING POLICY CHANGE


UNCTAD/PRESS/PR/Accra/2008/027*

 

LATEST REPORT IN UNCTAD INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERIES FOCUSES ON ADVOCATING POLICY CHANGE

 

Series to be introduced at World Investment Forum

just prior to UNCTAD XII in Accra, Ghana

 

Accra, 19 April 2008 – The second installment of UNCTAD’s Investment Advisory Series A, focusing on spurring changes in regulations, laws, and government policies to improve flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) will be released on 19 April 2008 in Accra, Ghana, at the World Investment Forum.

 

The Forum, just prior to the UNCTAD XII quadrennial conference, also will be the occasion for a formal launch of the Investment Advisory Series. Publications in the series are based on UNCTAD research and technical assistance to developing countries and on surveys of the experiences of investment promotion agencies (IPAs). The reports are intended to be pragmatic tools to help developing nations attract foreign investment and benefit from it. The target audience is IPAs and other persons working in investment promotion and facilitation.

 

The title of the series’ second publication is “Investment Promotion Agencies as Policy Advocates”. It focuses on IPA efforts to improve the investment climate and extract greater benefits from foreign investment. Among IPA functions, policy advocacy appears to have the strongest impact on FDI inflows, but the benefits are typically realized over the longer term, giving it a lower sense of urgency than investment generation. In an UNCTAD survey, an overwhelming majority of IPAs said they conduct policy advocacy. While almost two-thirds consider it to be “very important”, it is often conducted only reactively and on an ad-hoc basis. In the face of growing international competition for FDI, IPAs can help strengthen a country’s competitive advantage by maximizing policy advocacy. The new UNCTAD publication takes the reader through a simple yet detailed four-step process that should help IPAs carry out policy advocacy more effectively.

 

The first issue in the Investment Advisory Series focused on investor “aftercare services”, an activity often neglected by IPAs. Investor aftercare is equivalent to a private firm’s after-sales services, aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction and encouraging “repeat business”. The ultimate aim of aftercare is to maximize the contribution of foreign affiliates to local development, and a strong case can be made for IPAs to provide this service. The untapped potential of aftercare was well illustrated by a survey of IPAs worldwide. While respondents estimated that 32% of all inward foreign direct investment (FDI) came from reinvestment — some experts put this figure at 70% for certain regions — they devoted only 10% of their resources to this activity. The publication also discussed methods for conducting aftercare, highlighted best practices from IPAs around the world, and listed the challenges that IPAs face in carrying out the task.

 

Forthcoming publications in the Investment Advisory Series A in 2008 will cover topics such as IPA evaluation systems and the advantages and disadvantages of combining investment promotion with trade promotion.

 

In 2008, UNCTAD will launch its Investment Advisory Series B. This series will target policy makers and focus on policies and strategies shown to work best in enabling FDI to promote economic development.


 


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