Benefits and challenges of a WTO Investment Facilitation Framework for Development for Latin American economies

Event Type
High-level regional roundtable

Location/Date
Online, 05.05.2021 until 06.05.2021

Organiser

International Trade Centre (ITC), German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), World Economic Forum (WEF)


Investment facilitation can be understood as a set of measures concerned, among other things, with improving the transparency and predictability of investment frameworks, streamlining procedures related to foreign investors and enhancing coordination and cooperation among different stakeholders, to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) that contributes to development.

The regional roundtable is meant to offer a platform for a strategic exchange on the negotiations on investment facilitation currently taking place among more than 100 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including a number of countries in Latin America. The event provided an opportunity for Latin American policymakers to reflect on the potential benefits and challenges of a WTO framework on investment facilitation for development. This will help participants to ensure that their countries’ international engagement is in line with their sustainable development strategies and their national and regional reform agendas.

Investment policy makers face a huge challenge to tackle declining FDI flows as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UNCTAD, global FDI flows contracted by 42% in 2020, compared to the previous year, and are expected to decline further in 2021. Latin American economies experienced a contraction of 37%. The consequences of the pandemic call for a discussion on the kind of policies and frameworks that are needed to facilitate FDI, especially investment that directly helps to promote sustainable development. Latin American countries, to varying extents, have been implementing reforms at the national and regional levels to improve their business environment. The majority of their international investment agreements focus primarily on investment protection and liberalization and less so on investment promotion and facilitation. However, some Latin American economies’ investment agreements include more extensive investment facilitation provisions.

The regional roundtable began with a brief background on the progress of the WTO negotiations on investment facilitation for development and provide a platform for an exchange of the views and the interests of Latin American economies in these negotiations. It also addressed the main challenges and concerns that ought to be taken into consideration in these negotiations. The objective is to facilitate awareness raising, joint learning and capacity building among participants. The roundtable was held under the Chatham House Rule to facilitate open and results-oriented discussions. A report will distil key policy recommendations from the discussions at the roundtable.


Hinweis / Please note

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Event information

Date / h
05.05.2021 until 06.05.2021 / 16:00 - 19:10

Location

Online

Contact

Photo: Dr. Axel Berger, Senior Researcher in the   Research programme: Transformation of Economic and Social Systems

Dr. Axel Berger

 

E-mail Axel.Berger@die-gdi.de
Phone +49 (0)228 94927-247