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World Bank Group and Australia Help APEC Members Promote FDI, Attract Investors

Melbourne, Australia, October 22, 2012 —The World Bank Group (WBG) and the Australian APEC Study Centre (AASC) are hosting a workshop for investment promotion officials from low-income member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), helping them improve services for investors in light of the growing competition for foreign direct investment across the region.  
The WBG’s Global Investment Promotion Best Practices report (GIPB 2012) found that foreign companies have an 80 percent chance of being ignored when they call investment promotion agencies for information and assistance in APEC’s 10 lowest-income member economies. The four-day strategic planning and training workshop, sponsored by AusAID and the Investment Climate Department of the WBG, which developed GIPB 2012, will use the report as a diagnostic tool to improve the services offered by eight of those 10 APEC economies.
“Without stronger investment facilitation, these countries will find themselves left behind as the world’s post-crisis economy moves back into growth and foreign direct investment levels begin to rise. They are all attractive locations for FDI, and by learning how to improve their case, they will be well-positioned to compete in a global foreign direct investment market that has grown three-fold in the last eight years despite the crisis,” said Robert Whyte, the WBG’s Lead Specialist for Investment Promotion.
The workshop that begins today will train officials in investment facilitation best practices and train them to be trainers. This will equip them to extend their new capacity to colleagues at home, and deepen each agency’s current and future ability to compete for foreign direct investment.
“What makes this workshop unique is that it will be based on agency-specific performance data from GIPB 2012,” said Margot Kilgour, AASC Executive Manager. “The GIPB analysis identifies each agency’s core strengths and weaknesses and equips them with a practical plan to address the weaknesses. It also provides them with the materials and knowledge to build momentum and capacity for reform among their colleagues.”
For more information on the 2012 Global Investment Promotion Best Practices report, please visit www.globalinvestmentpromotion.org
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org , www.miga.org , and www.ifc.org .
About the Australian APEC Study Centre
The Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University, College of Business, is a leading Centre in the region’s consortium of APEC Study Centres. Its mission is to advocate and advance APEC’s objectives of promoting open trade and investment, structural reform, the strengthening of financial systems and regional integration. It promotes the economic, social and community goals of APEC and RMIT University through its contribution to regional capacity building initiatives, involving training programs, symposia, research, forums and its outreach to business, schools and academia. For more information, please visit www.apec.org.au
About AusAID
AusAID is the Australian Government’s overseas aid program and is focused on improving the lives of millions of people in developing countries. It works with the governments and people of developing countries to deliver aid where it is most needed and most effective. For more information, please visit www.ausaid.gov.au .