Investment policy

Message by the OECD Secretary-General to the IMFC, 11 October 2008, Washington


OECD and partner countries welcome investments from Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) as a positive force for development and global financial stability. Last June at the OECD, Ministers representing thirty-three recipient countries adopted a Declaration to express their commitment to preserve and expand an open international investment environment for SWFs. This commitment is grounded in the long-standing OECD investment policy principles of non-discrimination, transparency and liberalisation. In this context, they also endorsed guidelines developed under the auspices of the OECD Investment Committee to ensure that investment measures to safeguard national security are not, in fact, disguised protectionism.

This document presents the Ministerial Declaration and the associated OECD guidance for recipient country policies towards SWFs. These commitments by OECD and partner countries will help to preserve freedom of investment and global prosperity.

The elaboration by the International Working Group of SWFs of Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP) for SWFs’ appropriate governance, accountability and investment conduct is also essential. The OECD is very pleased to have been invited to observe this work and to provide inputs to the GAPP.

Taken together, the OECD guidance to recipient countries and the GAPP for SWFs provide the international community with a robust frame-work for promoting mutual trust and confidence and reaping the full benefits of SWFs for home and host countries. As countries face major financial turbulence, it is all the more important to keep capital inflows moving freely.

The broader Freedom of Investment process, launched in 2006 at the OECD, but involving many other countries, provides a unique multilateral forum for investment policy dialogue. It includes a process of peer surveillance to ensure that international commitments to openness are respected. The initiative is presented in this document. I invite SWFs and their governments to participate actively in this process. The OECD looks forward to continuing dialogue and co-operation between recipient
countries and SWFs.

Angel Gurría
OECD Secretary-General

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