UNCTAD has awarded three investment promotion agencies for their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
The winners were announced during the 2020 Global Investment Promotion Conference, a satellite event of the World Investment Forum, organized by UNCTAD in association with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA).
UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi and WAIPA President Fahad Al Gergawi kicked off the two-day online event, which began on December 7.
“In the context of Covid-19, promoting and facilitating investment is more important than ever. The pandemic has highlighted the critical role of capital promotion agencies and other government institutions, such as special economic zones, that promote and facilitate investment, ”Kituyi said.
“His approach is evolving from crisis relief and support to recovery and ultimately reform. As many agencies go through a strategy restructuring process, they must stay informed on investment megatrends and policy developments to understand the implications for investment promotion, «he added.
The high-level opening session brought together business leaders and high-level representatives of international organizations to discuss investment prospects, new ways to attract investment beyond the pandemic, and the strategic reorientation of governments.
The Estonian Investment Agency won the award for the innovation it showed by supporting its stakeholders and investors during the pandemic through digital solutions.
The supports included the start of chatbot and electronic consulting services, and virtual business visits for investors, taking advantage of the country’s information technology capacity and experience with electronic government.
Invest India won the award in recognition of the breadth of services and information it has provided to the Indian investment community since the onset of the pandemic.
An excellent example of their work is the creation of Invest India’s comprehensive business immunity platform.
The platform offers services such as a COVID-19 helpdesk, information on central and state advisories, notifications and government support measures, and the latest news on the pandemic.
The Rwanda Development Board won the award for the effective use of its advanced online business registration and promotion services during the pandemic and for establishing partnerships to facilitate and prepare the country’s economy for recovery.
These alliances focus on developing new skills in the workforce, ensuring safety in the tourism sector, and promoting digitization, among others.
Special gender award
This year, UNCTAD presented a special award in recognition of agencies’ efforts to mainstream gender in investment promotion as part of broader work on gender and investment.
The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) received special recognition for its strategic focus on addressing gender in its work.
CINDE has established objectives, defined indicators, and developed alliances to contribute to national commitments on gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as Sustainable Development Goal 5, which addresses this issue.
Since 2002, UNCTAD has awarded 60 investment promotion agencies and other organizations from 49 countries for their efforts to promote investment for sustainable development.