Fahad Al Gergawi, President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies and CEO of Dubai FDI, an agency of Dubai Economy, held a virtual meeting recently with Dr. Caroline Freund, Global Director, Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment Global Practice, of the World Bank Group, about the current situation of investment promotion and opportunities for the two organisations to further strengthen their collaboration.
Dubai FDI assumed presidency of WAIPA for a two-year term in 2019. The World Bank Group is a member of the WAIPA Consultative Committee, a group of high-level advisory board that contributes to the implementation of the WAIPA agenda. “Collaborations and partnerships with leading institutions such as the World Bank Group with concrete outcomes and publications are essential for the added value that WAIPA can exclusively offer its member agencies,” Al Gergawi said, highlighting the importance of the partnership.
Dr Freund also underlined the strong partnership between the two organisations, particularly in the context of the upcoming joint WAIPA-WBG Global survey on the ‘State of Investment Promotion Agencies: Evidence from WAIPA-WBG’s Joint Global Survey’ as well as planned partnerships between the the two organisations, particularly in supporting and highlighting the important work of investment promotion agencies (IPAs). The new strategy and crucial role of WAIPA in supporting IPAs around the world was also discussed.
Al Gergawi and Dr. Freund deliberated on the declining FDI globally and associated challenges, emphasising that particular aftercare and closer connections with existing investors will help to restore confidence and bring in new investments. The importance of existing collaboration and co-operation on various aspects of investment cycle and cooperation in improving added value of IPAs globally was mentioned in the discussions. The high-level meeting concluded with a pledge that the two organizations will work together on more projects to promote FDI and to further support IPAs in improving the quality of their services.
IPAs play an important role in attracting, facilitating, retaining, and advocating investments. They are often seen as the bridge between governments and the private sector, seeking to increase investment, promote economic development, conclude investment contracts; and manage investment relationships before, during and after the investment life cycle. Particularly also in recent months under COVID-19 impact, IPAs through their unique positioning supported their governments in alleviating the economic damage and retaining investor trust.
WAIPA and its Consultative Committee, a board of the leading international organisations, such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, ICC, ILO, OECD, and the World Bank among others, confirm the need to closing ranks and further supporting IPAs in building their capacities and advocating their important role.