Conceptualising an Investment Facilitation Index

Expert Workshop

Ort / Datum
Geneva, 27.11.2018


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

After the successful adoption of the Trade Facilitation Agreement by the WTO, investment facilitation has recently been gaining in popularity in international policy debates. Investment facilitation refers to actions, mainly by host countries, to make legal and administrative rules and procedures more transparent, predictable and efficient. In contrast to the dynamism of the political discussions, research on the conceptual underpinnings as well as the potential effects on foreign investment flows and sustainable development is lacking. This illustrates the need for research in quantifying the impact of a potential Investment Facilitation Agreement (IFA) on countries’ rules and regulations as well as the economic implications of such a deal.

Given very little research on investment facilitation in general and no empirical attempts to quantify the current level of practice, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is currently developing an Investment Facilitation Index (IFI) to help identify and catalogue measures that affect investment facilitation. The index sheds light on the current level of practice among the 70 countries participating in the Structured Discussion on investment facilitation in the WTO and lays the foundation for future research on the impacts of a potential multilateral IFA.

The main purpose of this workshop was to present the latest draft of the IFI and discuss it among experts from international organizations, academics, industry representatives, and government delegations.

The IFI project aims at providing an inventory of applied regulations relevant for investment facilitation. Such an inventory is needed in order for trade policy makers to prepare for negotiations on investment facilitation - be they multilateral or preferential -, benchmark domestic reforms to best practices, and perform ex ante impact assessments of proposed reforms or trade agreements. Ex ante impact assessment is crucial for the management of the reform process by identifying areas of growth and contraction and by putting in place policies that ensure a smooth transition up-front.


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International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
International Environment House 2
Chemin de Balexert 7-9 1219 Châtelaine

By invitation only


Axel Berger
Tel: +49 (0)228 94927-247

Zoryana Olekseyuk
Tel: +49 228 949 27 245


What’s next for the investment facilitation agenda?
Berger, Axel (2018)
in: Columbia FDI Perspectives, No. 22


Putting FDI on the G20 Agenda
Sauvant, Karl P. / Axel Berger (2018)

Project Syndicate


Moving the G20's investment agenda forward
Berger, Axel / Kalk Sauvant (2018)

T20 Argentina Policy Brief