Drawing on international expertise


Rationale | Key considerations | Resources | Next


2.8 Has the government made use of international and regional initiatives aimed at building investment promotion expertise, such as those offered by the World Bank and other intergovernmental organisations? Has the IPA joined regional and international networks?

Rationale for the question

Many international organisations work with IPAs to facilitate the exchange of best practices on investment promotion strategies and assist in building capacity. These advisory services can be extremely useful in improving the effectiveness of investment promotion but should not divert attention from the broader policy environment in which the IPA operates.


Key considerations

Simply being aware of capacity building programmes on offer by international organisations will not suffice to ensure that the local IPA is able to benefit. Benefiting fully from these programmes will also require assigning a sufficient quantity and quality of resources to capacity building within the IPA. The PFI user should consider the extent to which the IPA or other relevant organisations are making effective use of available initiatives. It may be useful to examine this question at different levels.

Receptivity to outside information – To what extent is the culture within the IPA as well as in the broader government receptive to the kinds of information available on improving the investment climate? Are there changes to the way such information is presented that might make it more accessible or understandable? Are there other strategic planning or regulatory review processes into which it needs to be fed? Some country experiences may be better matched to your national situation and receptivity to IPA best practices may depend on choosing the right partner organisations and examples to study.

How networks are accessed – Participation in networks can take many forms, from the relatively passive participation in conferences to the scheduling of active research trips to meet investors and investment authorities in other countries. Your IPA should ensure that participation in networks is a significant part of its activities and that there are sufficient qualified staff with adequate budgets to enable them to make effective use of information resources, whether in the form of conference attendance, internet-based information subscriptions or research trips abroad.

How information is shared with government – Senior government officials are busy and face many competing agendas. Thus careful thought should go into how the information products from IPA research should be presented. Should public communication or media outreach play a role? Should the IPA circulate concept papers or schedule informal discussion groups within government to consider comparisons between national practices and best practices gleaned from external networks.

How technical experts are used – Some investment networks offer direct consultation services where experts come to your country to assist in making evaluations, studying policy options and discussing how improved practices could be phased in. Has your government sought to bring in such outside expertise?



The following are some of the major networks and advice services with available internet links:

  • UNCTAD Advisory Services on Investment and Training offer instruction programmes for IPA staff to improve capacity.
  • UNCTAD also offers a guide to international best practices and benchmarks in investment promotion.
  • The Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) is a joint programme of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). It provides assistance in diagnosing investment climates with recommendations for policy, regulatory and procedural reform, institutional frameworks for investment promotion and methods for monitoring effectiveness.
  • The World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) assists IPAs in advising their governments on the formulation of investment promotion strategies. Its website offers investment conferences and a useful set of investment links and IPA tools.
  • MIGA has one website dedicated to IPA benchmarking and technical assistance and another, IPAworks, which provides website templates to assist IPAs in setting up online resources for investment promotion efforts. A third website has put various resources together, including investment promotion toolkits and provides links to several surveys of best practices and a study showing greater investment flows for countries that establish an IPA.

Further resources: investment promotion and facilitation resource library



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