Investment facilitation at the WTO must be seen against the backdrop of the increasing and reinforcing relationship between trade and investment in the global economy, as well as their potential for development and economic growth.
Over the last decades, many countries, both developed and developing, have pursued various forms of trade liberalization while adopting pro-investment frameworks to create a domestic policy environment that is hospitable to FDI. In that context, a large and diversified group of WTO Members has been discussing the issue of investment facilitation at the WTO since 2017.
Discussions on investment facilitation have made steady progress at the WTO. The initiative has gathered increased support and momentum. Starting as an Informal Dialogue (launched in 2017), it developed to a Joint Ministerial statement co-sponsored by 70 Members at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2107 (MC11), which calls for the start of structured discussions to develop a multilateral framework on investment facilitation.
During 2018, the Structured Discussions were held, focused on the identification of the possible elements of the framework on investment facilitation, which were reflected in a “Checklist of Issues raised by Members”. In 2019, the initiative moved towards a new phase. The Structured Discussions have focused on the development of possible elements for a framework – in line with the 2017 Joint Ministerial statement). Read more >>
When dealing with national procedures applicable to investment, what has been your experience, what can be improved and what should be avoided?
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More generally, what principles should govern an investment facilitation framework? Are there any current practices (at the national, bilateral or regional levels) that could serve as a model?
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