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Organizer The World Bank
Submission deadline 31 Mar 2021 5:00pm UTC (over 1 year ago)
In your time zone: Mar 31 1pm EDT
Date Awarded 31 Jul 2021 5:00pm UTC (over 1 year ago)
In your time zone: Jul 31 1pm EDT
Region Americas

The World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) together with the World Bank Group (WBG) are jointly launching a global competition to find and award international best practices of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) advocating for reforms to improve the investment ecosystem for foreign investors (FDI).

Research shows that foreign investors attach the highest value to IPA advocacy services that help improve the business environment (World Bank 2020). The direct day-to-day contacts that these agencies have with foreign investors gives them an excellent advantage in identifying regulatory bottlenecks, policy failures and other gaps in the investment ecosystem, which provides important data that they can use to advocate for reform within their Governments and with other stakeholders. The current COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of advocacy as IPAs continue to be best placed to deliver rapid response through advocating and catalyzing reforms that can mitigate the impact of the crisis and eventually foster more rapid recovery. While international best practice shows that the most effective IPAs are typically not regulators, advocacy is an effective mechanism for IPAs to influence needed reforms. Using their direct contact with investors, IPAs can gather meaningful insights and information that allow them to prepare well substantiated analysis of market and policy failures, draft position papers and promote recommendations for impactful reforms that improve the investment ecosystem.

However, still to this day, IPAs continue to focus most of their resources on the attraction stage of the investment life cycle (Heilbron and Aranda-Larrey 2020) and dedicate only five percent of their budgets to advocacy (Sanchiz and Omic 2020).

Through this competition, the WBG and WAIPA aim to emphasize the key benefits of IPAs’ advocacy services. The competition aims to collect and disseminate IPA advocacy success stories and raise awareness in a way that hopefully inspires more IPAs to play a stronger role in advocating for reforms.