UNIDO and WAIPA deliver master classes on FDI-SME business linkages

In the context of a successful inter-institutional cooperation between UNIDO, the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) and the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO), a masterclass on ‘Strengthening Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) business linkages and Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) aftercare’ was delivered on 9 September 2020. UNIDO has a long established partnership with ITC ILO and WAIPA, having contributed to previous courses on effective investment facilitation and sustainable development, organized in 2018 and 2019.

This masterclass was regarded to be highly relevant since the theme of in-country linkages between FDI and domestic suppliers becomes important as it mitigates the risk of supply chain disruptions brought about by a high degree of import dependency in times of this current global pandemic crisis. In addition, the masterclass looked into in-country investment targeting and opportunity profiling techniques, including those focusing on COVID-19 relevant sectors (Personal Protective Equipment, etc.) and technology options for virtual investment promotion. The IPA response by the Ireland Development Agency (IDA) complemented the discussion, providing examples of interventions in remote client engagement and investor retention during the COVID-19 crisis. A lively discussion ensued with IPA representatives re-iterating the need for IPAs to become more active actors for facilitating linkages between FDI investors and domestic suppliers such as those offered by UNIDO’s Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange Programme.

The event was attended by 114 participants, mainly staff of IPAs or other investment promotion institutions, from all over the world. It included 7 IPAs from developed countries and over 40 IPAs from developing countries with a high representation especially from African and Latin American countries.

For more information contact Stefan Kratzsch (S.Kratzsch [at] unido.org) and Brian Portelli (B.Portelli [at] unido.org).