Investment Facilitation for Development: How Asian and Pacific Economies Will Benefit

High-Level Regional Roundtable

Ort / Datum
Online, 19.05.2022


International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), World Economic Forum (WEF)

This high-level event is meant to offer a platform for a strategic exchange on the negotiations on an Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), launched in September 2020 after over two years of preparatory discussions. The negotiations bring together over 110 WTO Members at all levels of development, aiming to conclude the text negotiations by the end of 2022. Currently, 24 Members from the Asian and Pacific Economies are participating in the negotiations.

High-level policy makers, government officials, private sector representatives, and eminent academic scholars will participate in the Roundtable, to be updated on the negotiations and to raise awareness on their progress and reflect on how countries may make best use of the IFD Agreement to enhance their business climate, attract higher value-added investment and boost economic growth, digital economy innovations and sustainable development. This reflection process also seeks to help participants to ensure that their countries’ international engagement is in line with their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their national reform agendas.

This process is particularly important and timely as a working group led by the WTO secretariat and comprised of leading international organisations active in the field is preparing an 'Investment Facilitation Self-Assessment Guide' to help WTO Members self-assess their needs and priorities for the effective implementation of the future IFD Agreement and the technical assistance and capacity building needs associated with implementation. Need assessments are expected to begin in the second half of this year.

The Roundtable will provide a brief background on the focus and progress of the IFD Agreement negotiations and explore the benefits and possible challenges of an IFD Agreement for Asian and Pacific economies. The objective of this Roundtable is to facilitate awareness raising, joint learning and capacity building among participants. The Roundtable will be held under the Chatham House Rule to facilitate open and results-oriented discussions.


1st Session: Opening session


  • Rupa Chanda, Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, ESCAP



  • Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary, ESCAP
  • Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • Børge Brende, President, WEF
  • Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director, ITC


Guest address

  • Anabel González, Deputy Director-General, WTO


2nd Session: The importance of investment facilitation from national and regional perspectives


  • Federico Ortino, Professor of International Economic Law, King’s College London



  • Mathias Francke, Ambassador of Chile to the WTO,Coordinator of the Structured Discussions on Investment Facilitation for Development – “The state of play of the WTO negotiations on an Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement”
  • H.E. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya , Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Republic of Fiji“How important is investment facilitation for the Republic of Fiji? What is needed to strengthen IF inFiji?” 
  • Burak Dağlıoğlu, President of the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey – “Which investment facilitation measures are most important”
  • Ariffin Sulaiman, Assistant Head of FAST (FDI Action & Support Centre under the BEDB), Brunei Darussalam – “How important is investment facilitation for Brunei Darussalam? What is needed to strengthen IF in Brunei Darussalam?”
  • Michael Lim, Executive Director, Crowe Malaysia – “An investor’s perspective on the importance of investment facilitation”



  • Pavida Pananond, Professor, Thammasat University


3rd Session: How an Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement can contribute to sustainable development


  • Matthew Stephenson, Head of Investment Policy and Practice, World Economic Forum



  • Sunghwan Lee, Minister-Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea in Geneva -Key areas of action to facilitate sustainable FDI”
  • Manothong Vongxay, Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce,Lao PDR- “Understanding countries’ needs and support requirements to implement investment facilitation measurers”
  • Renuka Weerakone, Director General of Board of Investment, Sri Lanka – “Which investment facilitation measures are most important”
  • Craig Burchell, Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. – “An investor’s perspective on the importance of investment facilitation”



  • Ismail Ersahin, CEO (a.i.), World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA)


Concluding remarks


The Roundtable is convened in the framework of the Investment Facilitation for Development project, jointly implemented by ITC and DIE. It will take place on 19 May 2022, from 9:00am-11:30am CET, 2pm-4:30pm Bangkok, Thailand (GMT+7).



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Datum / Uhrzeit

19.05.2022 / 09:00 - 11:30




Please note that, to avoid any difficulties, only participants who register will receive the password to join the on-line roundtable.


To register for the event and receive the meeting-link details, please register here.