This week, the World Bank Group’s Investment Climate Department hosted a stimulating discussion on the effectiveness of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs). The panel discussion coincided with the launch of the Investment Climate Department’s report on IPAs across the globe. MIGA co-sponsored the report and pioneered its methodology.
First, the bad news. This report makes for quite depressing reading for this startling finding: overall, the responsiveness of investment promotion intermediaries to investor inquiries is low, with 80% of IPAs not responding to sector-specific investor inquiries. This means that 80% of these organizations did not return a phone call or email from a foreign direct investment (FDI) “mystery shopper.” This translates to missed investment opportunities that are particularly needed now as the competition for FDI is so fierce.