(Full report can be read here)
(Annex A to the report can be read here)
On 13 December 2017, 70 members of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) co-sponsored a Joint Ministerial Statement calling for structured discussions on “investment facilitation for development”. Since the issuance of the Joint Ministerial Statement, there have been ongoing structured discussions at the WTO on investment facilitation with the objective of developing a multilateral framework on investment facilitation. This document serves as a primer on investment facilitation for development to support WTO members in their participation in the ongoing structured discussions.
Investment facilitation is critical for sustainable development and inclusive growth as it can increase both the quantity and quality of foreign direct investments (“FDIs”). Often, FDI flows are inhibited by bottlenecks and inefficiencies arising from red tape, bureaucratic overlap, or overly complex procedures. Investment facilitation measures seek to streamline or remove these barriers by, inter alia, improving transparency of investment measures, streamlining administrative procedures or establishing institutional mechanisms supporting investment facilitation.
Accordingly, in recent years many countries have been introducing domestic measures to facilitate foreign investment. Moreover, inasmuch as investment facilitation measures have traditionally not been included in investment agreements, few investment treaties have now integrated investment facilitation provisions. The main purpose of this primer is to showcase examples of such investment facilitation practices.
After setting out the scope and definition of investment facilitation, the primer addresses three main focus areas of investment facilitation, along with case studies to showcase real-life examples:
(i) Transparency of investment measures;
(ii) Streamlining and expediting administrative procedures and requirements;
(iii) Institutional mechanisms: Contact or Focal Points/Ombudsperson/ Arrangements to Enhance Domestic Coordination and Cross-Border Cooperation on Investment Facilitation.
Seeking to provide a comprehensive overview of investment facilitation measures, in addition to the highlighted case studies, Annex A compiles a list of other investment facilitation measures from diverse countries.
Full report can be read here.