The 4th UNCTAD World Investment Forum ended on October 16 in Geneva: it was the biggest forum yet, and confirmed the need for a global platform of this kind.
The Forum attracted over 3000 participants from 150 countries, and heard from 300 speakers in 50 events. These included high-level decision-makers from government, business, academia and civil society.
Already these figures demonstrate the success of the event, but allow me to briefly share with you some of the latest concrete outcomes of this year’s World Investment Forum:
- A High-Level Action Plan for Investing in the SDGs. The Chairs’ Summary of the Ministerial Round Table with the highlights of the debate on investing in the SDGs, based on and enriching UNCTAD’s Action Plan for Investing in the SDGs, will feed into the Conference on Financing for Development and the Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals 2015.
- A High-Level Plan of Action for Investment in LLDCs. The Chairs’ Summary of the ministers-business dialogue on Investment in Landlocked Developing Countries will feed into the UN Conference for LLDCs in Vienna, November 2014.
- We launched “Business Schools for Impact”. This is an UNCTAD initiative in partnership with the Global Business School Network and the Global Alliance for Management Education, as well as a number of top business schools from all continents. It aims to stimulate and support business schools to contribute to sustainable development in the poorest areas in the world by changing the mindset of business graduates and teaching the skills required to invest and operate in low-income environments with positive social impact.
- We launched the Global Business Registration Portal, in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Week. This is a global index of national and sub-national web portals to facilitate online business registration processes. It aims at improving business registration services worldwide, allowing easy access to existing online systems, and facilitating the exchange of experience and best practices among governments.
- We have a Multidisciplinary Policy Research Agenda on Investment for Development, produced by the Forum’s Academic Conference; and we have launched the Global Network for International Law, Business and Economics together with the Academy of International Business and the Society of International Economic Law.
- We have designed the contours of a Roadmap for the International Investment Regime.
- We launched an “Investment Guide to the Silk Road”.
- We launched the 2014 Sustainable Stock Exchanges Report, and we adopted a Work Programme of the SSE partners for the next biennium.
- We started a number of new partnerships with international firms to make value chains work for the poor.
- We launched a Report on “Investment by TNCs, and Gender”, and adopted a Research Agenda on FDI, TNCs and Women’s Empowerment. In addition, we started new partnerships on women’s empowerment during the Empretec Women in Business Awards, together with UN Women.
- We adopted the UNCTAD-ISAR Research Agenda on the Future Direction of Corporate Reporting Models.
- Over the course of the Forum, there were over 100 hundred bilaterals between governments, business, and IPAs, not to mention the many informal meetings that have hopefully facilitated future investment decisions.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the participants at this year’s Forum as well as our hosts, the Swiss government.
Additionally, I extend our thanks to our 35 organisational partners who enabled us to offer such a diverse programme of events; and I thank our sponsorship and media partners who financed some of the events and helped promote the Forum.
Already, we can look forward to World Investment Forum 2016 which will be in Lima, Peru in the first quarter of 2016.
Thank you all once again for your support and interest, and I look forward to meeting you in Peru!
Director, Investment and Enterprise