Better data for better policy advice and policy making
Session Type
Session Themes
Room number
WIF Virtual Platform, room 5
Contact Email
19 October 2021
14:30 - 16:30 Europe/Zurich

Reliable data are essential for analyzing the process of globalization in all its dimensions, including its impact on sustainable economic development, and, on this basis, for formulating development-oriented policies. Although recent years have seen progress in this respect, the scope and quality of foreign direct investment (FDI) data in a number of developing countries, especially least developed countries, are still not adequate for the purposes of policy analysis and formulation.

The FDI statistics symposium will focus on the issues of FDI data compilation and analysis and its role in the formulation of FDI policies from a development perspective. In view of globalization and digitalization, it will explore issues relating to the nature of data and the problems arising from them, as well as data compilation methodologies and difficulties in their implementation.

The session will discuss ways and means to answer the specific needs of developing countries in data compilation and analysis to enable them to make informed policy decisions in the area of FDI. It will also raise the awareness of member States regarding internationally accepted standards relating to FDI data collection and reporting systems, including with respect to the activities of foreign affiliates in host countries.

In addition, the massive data gap on investment in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for a better planning and cooperation among all stakeholders, including in the area of FDI statistics to develop harmonized data on investment in relevant SDG sectors.

Issues to be addressed

  • The relationship between statistics, impact assessment and policy formulation in the area of FDI. The types of data available and their advantages and deficiencies in view of policymakers´ needs, especially in developing countries
  • Leading problems faced by developing countries, especially least developed countries, in compiling statistics on FDI data and on the activities of multinationals
  • How the globalization and digitalization have an impact on FDI data including treatment of conduit FDI and SPEs, ultimate investors and recording of intangibles
  • Ways and means to improve the availability and harmonization of FDI-related data (including through regional and international cooperation) and their usefulness to policymakers, particularly in developing countries
  • Can we make the existing FDI data more relevant to the SDGs to improve monitoring of investment and financial flows into developing economies


  1. The importance of quality FDI and FATS data
  2. New developments in FDI and FATS statistics: ongoing processes
  3. The role of complementary datasets: greenfield investment and cross-border M&As
  4. Improving measurement of FDI and activities of MNEs: the role of technical assistance
  5. Strengthening the monitoring of investment in SDGs


Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD and Lead, UNCTAD World Investment Forum
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution and former Deputy Director, Research Department, Investment Monetary Fund
Senior Economist, Central Bank of Zambia
Chairman, Working Group on International Investment Statistics and Head of Division, Central Bank of Poland
Deputy Head, Balance of Payments, International Monetary Fund
Head of International Investment Statistics Unit, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Deputy Head of Unit and Team Leader for Annual FDI Statistics, Eurostat
Chief of Section, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce, United States
Head of National Accounts Integration and Large Cases Division , Central Statistics Office, Ireland
Senior Economist, Office of National Statistics, United Kingdom
Director, Statistics and Information Department, Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries
Head of Financial Accounts, Swiss National Bank
Manager, Prospects Group, World Bank
Senior Health Financing and Expenditure Analyst, World Health Organization


Head, Investment Research Branch, UNCTAD
Chief, Investment Trends and Data Section, UNCTAD