The 7th World Investment Forum organized by UNCTAD will take place online from 18 to 22 October, focusing on investing in a speedy and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
The forum, to be held under the theme “Investing in sustainable development”, will address the key challenges facing the global investment-development community today resulting from the new industrial revolution, the sustainability imperative, the realignment of economic governance and the efforts for greater economic resilience.
“Rebuilding an inclusive and speedy recovery from the COVID-19 crisis will not be possible without reigniting both domestic and international investment” declared UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan.
“This is the largest event dedicated to investment-for-development, bringing together the broadest coalition of investment community stakeholders along the entire global investment chain. It is also the first major, global multi-stakeholder gathering to address the investment dimension of recovery since the start of the pandemic.”
Challenges in investing for development
The first challenge for the international community is mobilizing global investment for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNCTAD research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed the achievements made between 2015 and 2019 in terms of investment in the goals.
To get the SDGs back on track, the world requires more investment, public and private into SDG sectors such as health, infrastructure, health and sanitation, particularly in poor countries, to generate sustainable impact. Low-income countries experienced a 9% decrease in their Foreign Direct Investment inflows during the first half of 2021.
The second challenge is the realignment of worldwide investment governance in the new era of the global economy. Realignment induced by the increasing fragmentation in international economic policy making, including systemic competition, and shifts in national economic policy-making from liberalization to regulation and intervention.
The third challenge relates to new technologies and the new industrial revolution, which will have potentially far-reaching consequences for global value chains, with important implications for growth and development.
Forum participants will discuss the strategies and policy measures required to restart the engine of international production and restore supply chains. They will also examine the impact that the COVID-19 crisis had on investment inflows globally, and especially in developing countries.
World leaders to speak at forum in six high profile events
A dozen heads of state and government and over 40 ministers from developed and developing countries are expected to participate in the forum.
Speakers will include 76th UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahi, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and Inter-Parliamentary Union President Duarte Pacheco.
They will be joined by over 100 business executives and global market shapers, including the chairs and CEOs of Amundi, BioNTech, Iberdrola, Reckitt, Standard Chartered, Willis Towers Watson, the secretary-general of the International Chamber of Commerce, the CEO of the World Federation of Exchanges and the president and CEO of the United States Council for International Business.
The forum is organized in collaboration with over 60 international partners, including the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum, the World Federation of Stock Exchanges, the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Organization of Securities Commissions and the World Academy of International Business.
James Zhan, UNCTAD director who leads the World Investment Forum underlined that ¨The level and scope of speakers and partners, as well as the rich programme, is truly impressive and will surely be a milestone of strategies and policies for promoting investment in sustainable development.
UNCTAD supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively. It helps equip them to deal with the potential drawbacks of greater economic integration. To do so, it provides analysis, facilitate consensus-building, and offer technical assistance. It helps them to use trade, investment, finance, and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.