Twenty-four students and academics from Vi core member, the Belarus State Economic University, and the Kazak University of Foreign Relations, gathered at the UNDP offices in Minsk for a presentation of the latest World Investment Report (WIR) March 24.
The presentation was delivered by WIR co-author, Kalman Kalotay, of the Division on Investment and Enterprise.
The report reviews general trend in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in different regions, and examines investment strategies in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set the development agenda for the period 2015-2030.
Although developed countries still represent the larger share of inflows and outflows, Kalotay highlighted the larger role of emerging economies in FDI flows in 2013, both as recipients and as originators. He added, however that "these flows have experienced major fluctuations since the last global economic crisis in 2008, which also affected the FDI inflows to transition economies," whose major European Union investors are Germany, France and Austria.
In terms of investment policy to attract FDI, the report found that most of the measures implemented aimed at liberalizing and promoting FDI, though many regulatory policies were directed towards extractive sectors and financial services. Another policy trend identified by the report is a decrease in the signature of international investment agreements, with a shift from bilateral toward regional agreements.
"In the late 1990s developing countries’ competition to attract FDI flows spurred a wave of international investment agreements," he said, but these fell short of expectations.
Kalotay concluded the presentation with a look at the action plan proposed by UNCTAD to substantially increase private sector investment toward the achievement of the SDGs.
According to the report “the role of the public sector is fundamental and pivotal, while the private sector contribution is indispensable.”