Arda ErmutPresident

We are sincerely delighted that each year our organization is becoming an increasingly important actor in the world of foreign direct investment and a true advocate for our member agencies. WAIPA in its central role is addressing its members’ agenda and helping valuable participatory mechanisms take root through effective linkages. These linkages include not only our Consultative Committee members UNCTAD, UNIDO, ILO, ICC, OECD, IEDC, and the World Bank, but also numerous other valued partners. Looking back over the years at our members and partners, impressive number of achievements gives us hope for the even greater added value to come.

Our goal is straightforward. We bring together our member agencies from across the globe, engage them in improving understanding and cooperation, and offer them capacity building programs to support their FDI related works. Our reach across multi-level stakeholders and influential global institutions is the core of a network that enhances information gathering and facilitates access for global investment flows. Our aforementioned consultative committee provides us with incredible structural competency.

Moreover, contributing to a new era for FDI, our theme at the World Investment Conference 2018, is a central objective for us. Ambitious though it is, we intend to achieve it through expanding trade facilitation and investment promotion linkages as well as channeling business impacts through technology. This latter point will be particularly crucial, for we need to leverage these impacts as they will prove to be enormously beneficial for both developing and developed countries alike. The role of investment promotion agencies in this process is vital.

Therefore, my ultimate leadership strategy with WAIPA has always been to empower our members with knowledge and to improve investors’ access to investment promotion agencies. In short, I strive to make our association an increasingly beneficial organization and partner. In our presidency we focused particularly on the crucial importance of capacity building. We are all aware that IPAs face increasing competition, thus, trainings and capacity building programs where we also encourage our members to share their best practices and experiences for the benefit of all our members are vital. Last year we opened our Training Center in Istanbul, and through this we reached the next level in our development, making it possible for us to provide, conduct, and manage on-site the opportunity to exchange best practices and capacity building in investment promotion. In fact, due to this development we had the honor to host a UNIDO training earlier this year as well as a World Bank Training last year. Additionally, we launched our FDI Excellence Series where we hold practical trainings that cover FDI related topics such as “Attraction”, “Facilitation”, and “Aftercare”. Hence, the pillar of capacity building will become stronger, more concrete, and more established over the years.

Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to sincerely thank our members for the trust they put in my agency at our previous 22nd WAIPA World Investment Conference in Dubai, where they gave us the opportunity to hold the Presidency for one last, and hopefully equally successful and work-filled, term together with our members and partners.