On 5 July, ICTSD and the World Economic Forum organised a workshop on “Facilitating Investment for Sustainable Development” as part of its 2016/2017 series of investment policy dialogues, with the support of the Government of the Netherlands. These dialogues follow on from the work of the E15 Initiative Task Force on Investment Policy, which paved the way for the discussions.
The dialogue aimed at using a bottom-up approach to trace the path towards simpler and sustainable investment. In so doing, it convened participants from various stakeholder groups, including government, civil society, business and international organisations, and was structured into four sessions:
1. Investment Facilitation for Sustainable Development in Practice, which drew on practical examples from national and international frameworks in both emerging and developing countries to identify best regional or national practices for investment facilitation. This session then presented the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, and discussed which trade facilitation tools could be borrowed to facilitate investment.
2. Key Barriers to Sustainable Investment, which discussed the challenges to achieve regulatory transparency and predictability, streamlined and efficient administrative processes, and international cooperation, particularly in addressing developing country needs. This session also identified legal, regulatory, procedural and institutional barriers affecting all phases of the investment, from both the private sector and developing country perspective.
3. Setting Common Ground on Sustainable Investment Facilitation, which assessed the role of sustainability characteristics in addressing the qualitative side of Investment Facilitation, and attempted to reach a common understanding of what Investment Facilitation is and what it is not, as well as its benefits for developing countries.
4. Supporting Mechanisms to Advance Sustainable Investment Facilitation, which discussed how the facilitation of sustainable investment could take shape and be supported, and explored possible mechanisms to advance Investment Facilitation in light of the discussions held throughout the day.