On the launch of World Investment Report 2021, WAIPA invited heads of member IPAs to highlight the key findings of the report. A presentation of the report was given by James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Chief Strategic Adviser of WAIPA, following which the floor opened for discussion between the joining parties to deliberate upon current pressing issues for their agencies, upcoming trends and sectors in investment promotion and the global outlook post Covid-19 crisis.
World Investment Report 2021 highlights that the COVID-19 crisis caused a dramatic fall in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020. Global FDI flows dropped by 35 per cent to $1 trillion, from $1.5 trillion in 2019, with major deals involving ICT, health, infrastructure and energy. Agriculture and food was highlighted among the important investment industries in 2021, especially in developing and transition economies. The second highest ranked industry for attracting FDI was ICT which reflects the acceleration of digitization in response to the pandemic. The pharmaceutical industry was also picked, as several countries have reported significant investment decisions in the health-care sector.
CEO PBIT while appreciating the efforts of WAIPA to connect investment promotion agencies (IPAs) for networking and exchange of best practices in investment promotion, underscored the need to increase the cooperation among IPAs particularly as the agencies prepare for advising their respective governments on the formulation of appropriate investment promotion policies and strategies in the new normal . She shared that cooperation among IPAs with respect to knowledge sharing can strengthen information gathering systems, promote the efficient use of information and facilitate access to data sources, enabling IPAs to reorient their focus towards new sectors for attracting FDI in line with the global trends and demand.