The World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) is conducting its first annual conference from 18 to 22 November 1996 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. UNCTAD is hosting the Conference and assisted WAIPA in staging this important event.
The Conference will be attended by high-level representatives of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) from all over the world. The agenda includes discussions on recent trends in foreign direct investment (FDI), exchange of experiences on best practices in investment promotion, WAIPA´s new organisational and institutional structure and the organisation´s future programme of mutual cooperation. IPA Officials will also be participating in some of the sessions of UNCTAD´s Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues (which is taking place simultaneous with the WAIPA Conference), such as in the IPA panel presentation on "Attracting Foreign Direct Investment for Development: Lessons for Least Developed Countries" and the debate on "Developments in International Investment".
Besides this busy conference schedule, participants will also be given the opportunity to network with Swiss based businesses at receptions organised by the Geneva Industrial Promotion Office, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce & Industry and by Nestlé. Also included are visits to Swiss transnational corporations in the Bern region, as well as the Gruyère dairy processing factory.
Since its founding meeting, just over 18 months ago, the new world association has been very active. As pointed out in WAIPA´s Annual Report 1995-1996, the Association finalized its Statute during last year´s working group meeting in Manila, published the first issue of a WAIPA Newsletter and IPA World Directory, organized regional workshops for IPAs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and enlisted before the beginning of its first annual conference not less than 75 IPA members.
Besides the expected large number of IPA officials, participants will include corporate executives, international experts in investment promotion, and intergovernmental representatives from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The main objectives of WAIPA are: to promote and develop understanding and cooperation amongst IPAs; to strengthen information gathering systems and information exchange among IPAs; to share country and regional experiences in attracting investment; to assist IPAs to gain access to technical assistance and training through referrals to relevant agencies; and, to facilitate access to funding and other assistance, through referrals to relevant bilateral and multilateral agencies, for the development and implementation of investment promotion programmes.