Shanghai, 5-6 December 2002
This second annual conference of the OECD Global Forum on International Investment (GFII) was hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) in Shanghai on 5-6 December 2002. Timed to coincide with the GFII, an exploratory meeting of the OECD-Emerging Asia Investment Policy Dialogue was held on 6 December 2002.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a major catalyst for development and the integration of developing countries in the global economy. The Doha Development Agenda, the Monterrey Summit on Financing for Development, the OECD Ministerial 2002, the African Initiative of the G8 Summit and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg have all recognised private investment as a powerful engine to bring major benefits to countries and regions, in terms of enhanced financing, export capacity, growth, employment, skills and technology transfer.
At a time when the unprecedented increase in FDI observed in the last decade is slowing down, FDI has to be competed for and won. In addition, its benefits do not accrue automatically and evenly across countries, sectors and local communities: FDI will contribute most fully to sustainable development when the underlying economic, social and environmental governance policies in place are adequate.
Developed countries have remained the prime destination of FDI. Many developing countries have been left behind in the global investment surge of the 1990s, with their share in world FDI flows declining from a peak of 41 per cent in 1994 to 19 per cent in 2000. However, there are growing opportunities for business in developing countries, provided the framework conditions are right. Many developing countries have made increased efforts to improve both the conditions they offer to investors and their own capacity to absorb FDI in a fruitful manner.
National policies matter. Host country policies toward attracting FDI and benefiting from foreign corporate presence are largely equivalent to policies for mobilising domestic resources for productive investment. They include improvements of the general macroeconomic and institutional frameworks; creation of a regulatory environment that is transparent and non-discriminatory and, hence, conducive to inward FDI; and upgrading of infrastructure, technology and human competencies to the level where the full potential benefits of foreign corporate presence can be realised.
While the brunt of the policy adjustment needed to attract and maximise the benefits of FDI for development needs to be undertaken by investment host countries, home countries also share a responsibility in helping developing countries improve the investment environment, build capacities and maximise the benefits of FDI for development. This can be achieved, for instance, by pursuing policies of openness to trade, exploiting synergies between FDI and official development assistance, promoting the goal of sustainable development in international business operations, encouraging public-private partnership particularly for infrastructure investments, curbing the supply side of bribery and corruption in international business operations, supporting institutional and human capacity building, and supporting participation of developing countries in multilateral fora.
Business governance also matters. The business sector is part of the solution and has the potential to be a strong partner in an investment strategy for growth and sustainable development.
The OECD Global Forum on International Investment serves as an open and inclusive forum for dialogue on emerging issues among the international investment policy community and other main stakeholders. It provides a platform for exchanging best practices and exploring new ways of approaching the challenges and opportunities created by FDI. The Shanghai GFII built on the earlier activities of the GFII, launched in November 2001 in Mexico with a major conference on " New Horizons and Policy Challenges for FDI in the 21st Century " and followed by " FDI and Environment: Lessons from the Mining Sector " in Paris in February 2002.
The conference aimed to respond to the calls made at recent important international events, which have all acknowledged the central importance of international investment for global development. It drew on OECD analytical and policy development work, as well as co-operation with key investment actors, with a view to achieving progress in three distinct fields currently being explored by the OECD:
Draft Agenda and Overview
Summary of discussions
List of participants
News Release 20 November 2002 [ English / Allemand ]
News Release 23 October 2002 [ English / Français/ Allemand ]
OECD publication of proceedings (June 2003)