21 Oct 2021


This event occurs in Geneva Time (CET, GMT+2).

The twenty-fifth WAIPA World Investment Conference will be held alongside the UNCTAD World Investment Forum . In the wake of Covid-19 it will discuss, under the theme “Regeneration of IPAs in a new decade”, the crucial importance of IPAs during and after the pandemic that impacted lives and economies globally. Bringing together IPAs from all over the world, government officials, development sector leaders, decision makers from the private sector and academia relevant to FDI policy and strategy, the World Investment Conference will, during several panels, review the past two and a half decades of investment promotion, debate the rise of digitalization and the important of data-driven investment promotion, and examine how investors and locations alike benefit from IPAs and how IPAs are able to highlight their role further as a critical element in the promotion and facilitation of investments.

The annual meeting of WAIPA is comprised of an institutional portion and the conference itself. The General Assembly of WAIPA members (i.e., the institutional portion) precedes the WAIPA World Investment Conference. At this year’s General Assembly elections for the WAIPA Steering Committee will be held. The Steering Committee is the executive organ of the General Assembly and it shall consist of 14 members of WAIPA, 11 of which are elected by the General Assembly as directors, in addition to the WAIPA president and the two vice-presidents. Prior to the election of the new Steering Committee, the current Steering Committee will convene for a meeting.

Session/Panel 1: A quarter century of investment promotion: Success stories and the future outlook

An overwhelming majority of IPAs were created after 1990. This surge of institutions specializing in investment promotion in the 1990s also influenced the creation of WAIPA under the auspices of UNCTAD in 1995. Slightly over a quarter century later we look at how the work of IPAs has changed, with agencies emerging and disappearing over the last few years; what international institutions can do to assist agencies; how their work has been impacted by Covid-19; and how IPAs can even expand their crucial role in promoting and facilitating investments into their countries or regions.

Potential speakers: Leaders of WAIPA Consultative Committee.

Session/Panel 2: Data-driven investment promotion: How data influences the world of IPAs

As in most areas of life, data, their management and use, are becoming increasingly important issues for investment promotion. Agencies are helped to prove the value of their work by referring to data collected on FDI, and at the same time data helps agencies to take decisions more effectively and even to create leads for further investments. This panel will look at how important the collection of accurate data is and how IPAs can use data to their benefit.

Session/Panel 3: Business-oriented IPAs: High-end services and added value for investors

IPAs are an important link between business and governments. As agencies are usually linked to the government, they understand the dynamics of government structures; however, being in contact with investors on a daily basis, it is crucial for agencies and their employees to speak the same language as the investor. This unique position has resulted in IPAs becoming of vital importance during the Covid-19 pandemic, that has imposed a difficult situation on many companies. This panel will examine how investors see the functions of IPAs, how governments may utilize IPAs more strategically and effectively, and how IPAs are able to highlight their role further as valuable elements in the promotion and facilitation of investments.


Strengthening IPA Advocacy Services 2021 Awards (in partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG))

WAIPA together with WBG have jointly launched a global competition to find and award international best practices of IPAs advocating for reforms to improve the investment ecosystem for foreign investors (FDI).

Through this competition, WAIPA and WBG aim to emphasize the key benefits of IPA advocacy services. The competition will collect and disseminate IPA advocacy success stories and raise awareness in a way that hopefully inspires more IPAs to play a stronger role in advocating for reforms.

The winning IPAs will be selected by a jury consisting of delegates from WAIPA, WBG, UNCTAD and WEF and the awards will be presented during the twenty-fifth WAIPA World Investment Conference.


Launch of the WAIPA Business Advisory Board

Since the establishment of WAIPA, the idea of creating a body that brings private sector expertise to the WAIPA member IPAs has been fully supported by the Steering Committee as well as the General Assembly of WAIPA. In line with WAIPA’s strategy issued by its General Assembly, the proposal for a private sector advisory body has gathered momentum and led to the decision of the Steering Committee, in April 2020, to recommend the establishment of a Business Advisory Board (BAB).

The private sector will play an important role in the work of the WAIPA in establishing best practice and helping IPAs to enhance their corporate capacity and to provide the best possible assistance to the private sector before, during and after their investments. The private sector understands the need to put the United Nations SDGs on its priority list, and that projects can generate sound rates of return and at the same time have the best socioeconomic impacts. The private sector’s main role in WAIPA will thus be performed within the WAIPA BAB.

It is intended that the BAB will be formally introduced at the twenty-fifth WAIPA World Investment Conference.

Event Manager: Mr. Paul Wessendorp

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