unctad.org | Secretary-General strikes note of caution at London launch of World Investment Report
Secretary-General strikes note of caution at London launch of World Investment Report
04 July 2013
WIR 2013
The World Investment Report post-launch seminar, which was held at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London on Monday, 1 July, brought together representatives from UK Trade and Investment, the Department for International Development, think tanks such as the ODI, non-governmental organizations, and academia, to examine the findings of this year's report.


Speaking at the roundtable event, UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi argued that the 18 per cent drop in foreign direct investment (FDI) seen in 2012, and reported in this year's World Investment Report, was a sign of weakness in the global economy, and accordingly, he remained less optimistic about growth forecasts and their impact for development.

Citing the withdrawal of several large M&A deals, and the large and as yet untapped cash reserves that many international firms were currently sitting on, the Secretary-General emphasized that more needed to be done to facilitate FDI and to increase its contribution to development.

The discussion also focused on the theme of this year's report, which is Global Value Chains: Investment and Trade for Development. Many participants highlighted the useful analysis in the report, and said that further work would also be valuable, in terms of both data collection and policy analysis, to deepen the development community's understanding of how countries could beneficially integrate into global value chains (GVCs). A number of themes emerged - such as the issues surrounding transfer pricing within GVCs, and tax and resource-use issues in general related to international investment - where the United Nations could take a leading role.

Concerns were raised that higher GVC participation may contribute to increasing informalization in labour markets, though the World Investment Report also highlights the link between greater GVC participation and higher average wages, as well as the influence of commitments by international business to corporate social responsibility and international labour standards.

This year's World Investment Report has now been launched in over 50 locations globally, contributing to the dissemination of its findings among global investment stakeholders. The full report and individual chapters can be downloaded here.


 

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