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WAIPA is delighted to announce that the 25th WAIPA World Investment Conference (WIC), will be held within the 2021 World Investment Forum (WIF) in Abu Dhabi, UAE on October 19-20, 2021.

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


The 25th WAIPA World Investment Conference will be held alongside the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In the wake of COVID-19 it will discuss under the theme “Regeneration of IPAs in a new decade” the crucial importance of investment promotion agencies (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 private sector and academia relevant to FDI policy and strategy, the WIC will in 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 aims to examine how investors and locations alike benefit from IPAs and how IPAs are able to highlight their role further as 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 at the WIC also elections for WAIPAs 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 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 at the General Assembly, the current Steering Committee convenes 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 on investment promotion in the 90’s of the previous century 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 years, what international institutions can do to assist agencies, how their work was 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’s Consultative Committee

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

Like in most areas of life also in investment promotion data and the use of data becomes increasingly important. While, on the one hand, data helps agencies to prove their work by referring to data collected on FDI numbers, at the same time data helps agencies to take decisions more effectively and even to create leads for further investments. This panel will look 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 dynamisms withing government structures, yet being in contact with investors on a daily basis at the same time, it is crucial for agencies and their employees to speak the same language as the investor. This unique position made IPAs also of vital importance during the COVID-19 pandemic that imposed a difficult situation on many companies. This panel aims to look at how the 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 element in the promotion and facilitation of investments.

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

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

Through this competition, the WAIPA and the WBG aim to emphasize the key benefits of IPAs’ advocacy services. The competition aims to 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, the WBG, UNCTAD and the WEF and awarded during the 25th WAIPA World Investment Conference.

Launch of the WAIPA Business Advisory Board

Since the establishment of WAIPA, the idea to create 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 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 private sector before, during and after their investments. Of all groups the private sector understands the need to put the UN’s SDGs in their priority list, that, projects which can generate sound rates of return and at the same time have the most ideal socio-economic impacts. The private sector’s main role in WAIPA will be performed within the WAIPA BAB.

The BAB is aimed to be formally introduced at the 25th WAIPA World Investment Conference.

Past Conferences WIC19, Warsaw, Poland – view the report here

The World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) was created in 1995. It was established as an Association under Swiss law. It has been registered in Geneva, as a non-governmental organization. From its very inception, WAIPA has represented an ever growing number of Member agencies. Through its wide range of activities, WAIPA provides the opportunity for investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to network and exchange best practices in investment promotion. WAIPA has always dedicated, and continues to dedicate, time and effort towards building the human resources capacity of its Member agencies. Membership is open to any agency, government body or entity whose prime function is “to promote any country, political sub-division of a country or other uncontested territory, as a destination for, or as source of investment

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