“We should try to learn from the Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development”, said H.E. Sun Zhenyu, former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of China to the WTO at the launch of the Chinese edition of the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2012 in Xiamen, China over the weekend.
The launch, held during the 16th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), was attended by Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr. Petko Draganov, as well as senior investment policymakers and treaty negotiators from Japan, Korea, Zambia and other countries.
A team of UNCTAD experts presented the report, which focuses on a new investment policy framework designed to increase awareness of global investment governance and how countries, especially in the developing world, can use investment policy as part of a sustainable development strategy.
UNCTAD has long maintained that the attraction of international investment can be beneficial for development but that capital inflows are not always sufficient in themselves to generate development outcomes: targeted government policy is also important. The framework therefore sets out a set of principles around which international investment policy should adhere, as well as a policy tool-kit of options for countries seeking to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and increase its contribution to economic and social development.
In the wider context of reflection about global economic governance, the field of international investment also faces ongoing questions about investment governance which the framework seeks to address. For example, numerous attempts are under way to find a coherent approach to the proliferation of international investment treaties that now amount to a global ‘spaghetti bowl’ of more than 3,000 treaties.
Professor Zeng Huaqun from Xiamen University, one of more than 130 participants at the launch, commended UNCTAD’s new framework as having “contributed to the emergence of a global governance for international investment.”
UNCTAD has been active in galvanizing momentum for action on this issue for some time, and the framework was extensively discussed at the Ministerial level at UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum, held in conjunction with the UNCTAD XIII conference in April 2012, in Doha, Qatar.