About the World Investment Forum

Established in 2008, the UNCTAD World Investment Forum (WIF) is the pre-eminent global forum for investment policy-making. It is a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue on investment in sustainable development and strives to achieve actionable outcomes for the world’s investment related challenges. Where investment lacks a global forum equal to the WTO and IMF for trade and finance respectively, the WIF fills an important gap in the global economic governance architecture.

The World Investment Forum convenes a broad coalition of investment-development stakeholders at the highest level, including global leadership figures from governments, the private sector, international organizations, and thought leaders from academia and civil society. The 2018 WIF will strive to further broaden this community with the inclusion of philanthropists (Foundations), leaders of impact funds, investment champions as well as regional alliances.

The Forum is a unique opportunity to influence policymaking on investment in sustainable development and shape the global investment environment for companies, to network with leaders from business and politics and to discuss investment opportunities. It is recognized as the most important event for the international investment community.


Addressing opportunities and challenges for the business community and other investment-development stakeholders under today’s sustainable development imperative, the WIF has served as a launchpad for major international initiatives. The outcomes of the Forum inform major UN Conferences and summits and other international rule-making processes. WIF 2014 on investment in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) fed directly into the SDG formulation, and WIF 2016 provided a platform to update and further improve UNCTAD’s Global Action Menu for Investment Facilitation.

Programme and previous Forums

The WIF format consists of some fifty events, including a Grand Opening, a World Leaders Investment Summit, ministerial roundtables, private sector-led sessions, showcase presentations, and other high-profile stakeholder events, e.g. for Investment Promotion Agencies, institutional investors, impact investors, or sovereign wealth funds.

Previous Forums took place in Accra (2008), Xiamen (2010), Doha (2012), Geneva (2014) and Nairobi (2016). These events gathered 3000+ actors from the investment-stakeholder community, from 150 countries.

Among the high-level dignitaries and leaders at previous World Investment Forums were:

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping; the President of Finland, H.E. Ms. Tarja K. Halonen; the President of the Republic of Iceland, H.E. Mr. Olafur R. Grimsson; the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Sheikh Hasina; and the Prime Minister of the State of Qatar, H.E. Mr. Ahmad Bin A.B.Z Al Mahmoud.

From the global business side, participants included, among others, the Chairman of Huawei, the Chairman of the Board of Nestlé, the Chairman and CEO of Total S.A., the Chairman of China Minmetals Corporation, the Chairman of Syngenta and the Vice Chairman of NASDAQ OMX.

Venue and date

The WIF 2018 will take place from 22 to 25 October 2018, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the United Nations Headquarter in Europe and an international business, economic development and diplomacy hub.


Pre-registration is now open for the 2018 World Investment Forum presented by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Full registration will begin in early 2018 however, as there is high demand for participation each year, we invite you to pre-register here to receive the earlier notifications and updates. We look forward to welcoming you to the world’s leading investment dialogue with global leaders across business, government, and civil society.

Join the global investment-development community in Geneva and help mark the 10th anniversary of the World Investment Forum.