Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, Fifteenth session

11 - 13 February 1998

Many governments in developing countries have been working to improve public governance, but few have done so in the context of promoting foreign direct investment (FDI). A focused approach on governance-related issues that affect investors may be needed in countries where the attraction of FDI is a priority.

Based on country experiences, international experts and government representatives will examine the question of what constitutes good governance in investment promotion, how public governance can be improved (especially in developing countries) and the increasing importance of corporate governance. Special attention will be given to the role of national investment promotion agencies in improving governance in the public and private sectors.

Experience gained through UNCTAD programmes will also be discussed. In an issues note prepared for the meeting, four elements to good governance in investment promotion are identified, starting with transparency and predictability of laws, regulations and procedures that affect FDI. This implies that the regulatory framework should be clear, accessible and consistent. Another element is accountability within the civil service, especially in government institutions that deal with investors. This includes the application of performance standards and the availability of grievance procedures for investors. A fourth important element is the degree of participation by or dialogue with private-sector groups and other stakeholders regarding government initiatives to modify laws and regulations. Through these consultations, governments demonstrate their good intentions and keep the private sector informed of possible legal and procedural changes.

The Expert Meeting will include a special session presenting UNCTAD´s Investment Policy Review of Benin.

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