USCIB Senior Director for Trade, Finance and Investment Eva Hampl contributed her expertise on a panel hosted by the OECD during its workshop on investment promotion and facilitation in Paris on October 22. The day-long event focused on investment facilitation and retention, foreign direct investment (FDI) impact on the host economy, as well as organized break-out sessions focusing on specific regions such as the European Union, Eurasia and select Latin America and Caribbean countries.
Hampl’s panel also featured Ambassador of Chile to the WTO and Coordinator of the WTO Structured Discussions on Investment Facilitation for Development Eduardo Gálvez, Director, Services and Industry Promotion Department, Ministry of Foreign Relations of Brazil Min. Luiz Cesar Gasser, Executive Director, Invest in Finland, Business Finland Antti Aumo and Head of Investment Policy Unit, DG Trade, European Commission Carlo Pettinato. Panelists addressed key roles of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) and policymakers in facilitating business establishment, securing investment retention and encouraging re-investments.
As the sole business representative on the panel, Hampl discussed common challenges that companies face on the ground at the establishment phase or for expansions and re-investments in both OECD and non-OECD economies. She suggested measures that governments can make in order to facilitate the establishment of companies to encourage them to stay in the home country. Hampl also touched upon the U.S. business perspective of the WTO discussions on investment facilitation.
“Investment is vital to economic growth and development,” said Hampl during the panel. “However businesses face many challenges when investing, including regulatory issues, lack of IP protections, lack of appropriate redress, inefficiencies and costs generated by forced localization policies and duplicative testing requirements, skills disparity, inability to find suitable business partners, etc. There is unfortunately no one size fits all approach — every country needs to work out what works best within the economy. But any measures should improve the rule of law and strengthen the institutions — more carrot than stick.”
The purpose of the workshop was to build on the IPA mappings to deepen OECD research in certain areas of investment promotion and facilitation, strengthen the knowledge of the OECD IPA Network and exchange on topics of common interest.
Hampl is attending a slew of investment-related meetings taking place at the OECD this week, including an OECD Roundtable on Investment and Sustainable Development, a Business at OECD (BIAC) dinner with the OECD Investment Committee leadership, a Business at OECD Investment Committee meeting and a stakeholder consultation with the OECD Investment Committee.