‘Promoting foreign investment crucial’

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: World Bank Group member IFC (International Finance Corporation) has found that over 70 per cent of government investment promotion intermediaries miss out on investment and job-creating opportunities by failing to provide accurate and timely information to potential investors.

IFC’s report titled ‘Global investment promotion benchmarking 2009’ has shown how effectively government agencies promote their countries to foreign investors. Jointly produced by IFC, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the World Bank, it has examined the ability of 181 countries in influencing foreign investors’ site-selection process.

The report assesses the response of these government agencies towards two potential projects — software developer and a beverage-manufacturing company — seeking to expand operations in each country. According to its findings, only 10 out of 181 countries followed up with potential investors to secure the projects.

“If country information is hard to obtain, investors will simply go elsewhere,” said Cecilia Sager, a manager for the World Bank Group’s Investment Climate Advisory Services. She also noted that in the global slowdown, foreign direct investment offers prospects for growth and employment.

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