Over 80% of investment promotion agencies do not respond to inquiries on agric, tourism – World Bank

A new World Bank Group report published May 20, 2012 has found that more than 80% of national investment promotion agencies are failing to respond to investor inquiries in the key sectors of agribusiness and tourism.

The report, “Global Investment Promotion Best Practices 2012”, which assessed 189 economies’ responsiveness to investors, discovered that investment promotion agencies are less responsive to direct investor inquiries than they were three years ago.

According to the World Bank, in the areas of inquiry-handling and website performance over the past two years, two regions showed improvement. These were the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The report cited limited resources and less staff as obstacles that are impeding the effectiveness of these investment agencies.

“In difficult times, governments may be tempted to cut funding for investment promotion. However, this can cost them opportunities to secure investments and jobs,” said Pierre Guislain, Director of the Bank Group’s Investment Climate Department.

Skilled investment promotion agencies can give economies a competitive advantage by helping investors choose a suitable location and set up operations that create jobs and promote growth, Guislain added.

The report was produced by the Investment Climate Department of the World Bank Group which includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the World Bank.

By Ekow Quandzie

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