"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.”
The report shows that limited resources need not be an obstacle to effectiveness. For example, Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, one of the world’s top-performing agencies, has only 10 staff members spread across a range of functions. It also finds investment promotion websites to be a bright spot, with 62 percent of agencies implementing best practices.
Nicaragua’s investment promotion agency PRONicaragua emerged as the world’s top investment facilitator, becoming the first developing country to do so. PRONicaragua achieved best-practice standards in website performance and response to investor inquiries.
"We believe that the level of service an Investment Promotion Agency offers influences an investor’s first impression of a country’s investment climate, as it demonstrates that Government’s attitude and commitment towards investors. It is with that vision, through commitment to offering high quality service and insuring that each and every investor get the information they need, we try to build a strong sense of comfort about doing business in our country and promote economic development."
The report was produced by the Investment Climate Department of the World Bank Group (which includes IFC, MIGA, and the World Bank) and sponsored by ProInvest, a European Commission partnership program for the countries of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, and by the government of Spain.