Towards the establishment of the World Investment for Development Alliance

in partnership with the World Economic Forum
Session Type
Room number
WIF Virtual Platform, room 8
Contact Email
18 October 2021
13:00 - 14:00 Europe/Zurich

This session will discuss the possibility of launching a new global alliance for sustainable investment, the World Investment for Development Alliance (WIDA), to support greater collaboration on investment issues. Leading actors who can help shape this new initiative will be invited to share their perspectives.

The backdrop to this project is that the world has been undergoing a series of profound changes, brought on by industrial transformation, technological shifts, societal evolution, geopolitical competition and the COVID-19 pandemic. International investment can tie together and strengthen economies throughout these changes, making the global community stronger rather than weaker. However, international investment flows have changed form, and in many cases declined with FDI falling globally by 35% in 2020 putting their contribution to sustainable development at risk.

At the same time, there are trillions of dollars in sustainable finance waiting to capitalize a rebound in greenfield FDI if enabling policies and measures are put in place. We see this potential with the burst of recent mergers and acquisitions around the world, which in the first half of 2021 alone, surpassed all of 2020.

Many intergovernmental organizations, business entities, academic initiatives and civil society groups are working to support international investment and its sustainable development outcomes through enabling frameworks. Yet there is potential to better leverage these efforts, so that individual activities lead to more than the sum of the parts.

This can include collaboration on public-private projects to enable action on sustainable investment (EASI projects) that identify and address limiting factors to growing sustainable investment flows.

Issues to be addressed

  • How can organizations best work together to achieve the shared objective of growing sustainable investment?
  • What are the elements to consider, moving forward, to create a mechanism for collaboration?
  • How should public-private collaboration be designed, including to help achieve sustainability goals?


Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD and Lead, UNCTAD World Investment Forum
Minister attached to the Prime Minister, Secretary-General of the Council of the Development of Cambodia
President, Africa region, Robert Bosch (Pty) Ltd
Acting Practice Manager, Investment Climate, World Bank Group
Head of the Investment Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
CEO, Dubai FDI and President, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA)
Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, Mr. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Executive Director, IISD Europe and Director, Economic Law and Policy Programme, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Chief, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business, International Trade Centre (ITC)
Distinguished Professor, Management and Global Business Department at Rutgers Business School, and President of the Academy for International Business


Head, International Trade and Investment and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum