Global Investment Promotion Conference

Date: Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 December, 2020

Time: 14:00 Geneva time (CET, GMT+1) 

The Global Investment Promotion Conference aimed to discuss the shape of the investment promotion and facilitation landscape beyond the pandemic with global leaders in a satellite event of UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum. For this event, UNCTAD in partnership with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), brought together state leaders, ministers, high-level executives from leading global companies, international finance institutions and private sector organizations.

The full video recording is now available under “Video recordings”

Keynotes and interventions are now available under “Keynote interventions and presentations”

Information on the promotion of investment in sustainable development is available here 



Monday, 7 December
14:00 Summit Session on Strategic Reorientation in Investment Promotion During and Beyond the Pandemic
The COVID-19 crisis has drastically changed the global investment landscape. Although it is still unfolding, there is a lot to learn from how governments and institutions, like investment promotion agencies (IPAs) and special economic zones (SEZs), so far have adapted, re-strategized and reformed their investment promotion strategies. This high-level session with State leaders, ministers and CEOs of global companies will bring together the experience and perspectives from the public and private sector to debate investment prospects and new ways to attract investment beyond the pandemic.

Questions for discussion:
> What are the new key drivers of FDI? What does the international business community expect from governments during and beyond the pandemic?
> How can the private sector and investment promotion and facilitation institutions work better together to revive economies, stimulate investment, and channel finance towards sustainable development?

> Ms. Fifi Peters, Financial Journalist, CNBC Africa

Opening statement:
> Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD

Welcoming remarks:
> Mr. Fahad Al Gergawi, President of WAIPA and CEO of Dubai FDI

High-level government perspective:
> H.E. Ms. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
> H.E. Mr. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana

Presentation on Global Investment Prospects and GVC Transformation
> Mr. James Zhan, Director, Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

High-level business perspective:
> Mr. Peter Robinson, President, US Council of International Business
> Mr. Andrew Wilson, Head of Global Policy, International Chamber of Commerce
> Mr. Alfonso Libano Daurella, Vice-President, COBEGA
> Ms. Karin Finkelston, Vice-President, IFC

United Nations Investment Promotion Awards 2020 Ceremony

> 3 Awards for Excellence in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
> 1 Special Recognition on Mainstreaming Gender in Investment Promotion

Tuesday, 8 December
14:00 Executive Dialogue on Investment Facilitation and Advocacy
IPAs and SEZs are working under unprecedented challenges in a highly uncertain global investment climate. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, two important trends have emerged in their operations: (i) an increased focus on investment facilitation – particularly aftercare – and policy advocacy, and (ii) an acceleration in their digitalization.
Together with CEO’s from multinational enterprises, high-level executives from IPAs and SEZs will debate their predictions and expectations and what IPAs and SEZs need to do to remain relevant.

> Mr. Jacopo Dettoni, Chief Editor, fDi Intelligence, Financial Times

High-level government perspective:
>H.E. Lord Gerry Grimstone, Minister of Investment, Department for International Trade, UK

Questions for discussion:

Segment 1:
> Given the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 crisis, is there still room for businesses to follow a robust sustainability agenda?
> What could be the role of IPAs and SEZs in helping businesses to invest SDG-related projects and programmes?

> Ms. Alexandra Brand, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta Group
> Ms. Tessa Jacques, President, Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies
> Mr. Pierre Voges, Acting CEO, Atlantis Special Economic Zone, Cape Town, South Africa
> Ms. Yewande Sadiku, CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission

Segment 2:
> Will the digitalization of investment promotion and facilitation continue post-COVID-19 and how will this affect the quality of services? Will further digitalization change the role of IPAs and SEZs?
> How can the private sector support digitalization of IPAs and SEZs in the poorer countries?

Panellists :
> Mr. John Frank, Vice-President, UN Affairs, Microsoft Corporation
> Mr. Deepak Bagla, CEO, Invest India
> Mr. Robert Hermann, CEO, Germany Trade & Invest
> Ms. Maria Camila Moreno, Executive Director, Free Trade Zone Association of the Americas

Segment 3:
> How have innovative partnerships, involving IPAs and SEZs, played a role in addressing challenges during the crisis?
> How can IPAs and SEZs from least developed countries better benefit from existing international support programmes offered by development partners?

> Mr. Bostjan Skalar, CEO, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies
> Mr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Enhanced Integrated Framework, WTO
> Mr. Ahmed Bennis, Secretary General, Africa Economic Zones Organization
> Mr. Giulio Centemero, Co-chair, Panel on Trade and Investment, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean

United Nations Investment Promotion Awards 2020 videos

3 winners of the 2020 UN Investment Promotion Awards, for Excellence in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis:
> Estonian Investment Agency
> Invest India
> Rwanda Development Board

Special Recognition for Mainstreaming Gender in Investment Promotion:
> Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency – CINDE

Held since 2002, the United Nations Investment Promotion Awards celebrate the exchange of best practice in investment promotion. Over the years, the Awards have paid tribute to more than 60 institutions and their governments, recognizing their achievements in a range of areas of investment promotion. More details are available here.

This year, the Awards will be presented to IPAs for excellence in their response to the COVID-19 crisis. The finalists considered for the award were identified from technical assistance work carried out by UNCTAD during the pandemic, including the monitoring of the response of 180 national IPAs to the COVID-19 crisis.

Its analysis has been published in two recent publications aimed at investment promotion practitioners, available here:

A special recognition will also be awarded to one investment promotion agency for mainstreaming gender in investment promotion. The recipient will be chosen from among 52 investment promotion agencies that participated in a survey on gender and investment promotion conducted by UNCTAD between June and September 2020.

UNCTAD analysis from the survey is available here: