The 7th edition of the WAIPA-International Labour Organization training event, “Effective Investment Facilitation and Sustainable Development,” was successfully held over five days in the vibrant city of Turin. The event brought together professionals from Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) and relevant government bodies, creating an unparalleled platform for sharing insights and best practices in investment facilitation and sustainable development. Participants from 17 countries, including Bangladesh, Barbados, Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Hungary, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, and Turks and Caicos Islands, attended the program.

The event commenced with inspiring welcome remarks from Mr. Ismail Ersahin, CEO and Executive Director of WAIPA, and Ms. Githa Roelans from the Multinational Enterprises and Responsible Business Conduct Unit at ILO. A unique World Café session allowed participants to share their experiences on investment facilitation, followed by a session on facilitating investment in the SDGs led by Ms. Natalia Guerra from UNCTAD.

Participants got the opportunity to delve deeper into SDG facilitation with Ms. Guerra and engaged in thought-provoking sessions on decent work and responsible business conduct (RBC) with Ms. Emily Sims and Mr. Karl Pfeffer from ILO. Mr. Axel Berger from the German Institute of Development and Sustainability discussed the implications of WTO investment facilitation agreements. Additionally, Mr. José Henrique Vieira Martins, Senior Expert at WAIPA, presented on ‘The Investment Ecosystem: What is Happening,’ highlighting WAIPA’s proactive steps to address challenges such as climate change and the climate finance gap. He emphasized WAIPA’s activities in support of LDCs, consultations with the private sector through WAIPA’s Business Advisory Board, and the pivotal role of the Climate FDI Coalition in driving sustainable investment.

The focus shifted to investment retention and quality FDI with Mr. Brian Portelli from UNIDO. Participants learned about the impact of German supply chain legislation and the relevance of IFC performance standards from Mr. Abhishek Singh (IFC) and Mr. Jérémie Dumon (ILO) . Mr. Trevor Gunn of Medtronic, a Member of WAIPA Business Advisory Board (BAB) provided insights on human rights due diligence and supply chain laws, emphasizing the heightened responsibility when investing abroad and how IPAs can address these concerns.

Mr. Alexandre de Crombrugghe from OECD discussed FDI qualities and sustainable investment. Ms. Emily Sims returned to explore measuring the decent work impacts of FDI. The day also featured a real-world IPA testimony from Mr. Samet Akyüz of the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye.

The week concluded with assignment presentations led by Mr. Karl Pfeffer, followed by evaluations and closing remarks, wrapping up a highly successful event.

Throughout the week, participants engaged in a series of dynamic and informative sessions, fostering a collaborative environment for exchanging knowledge and best practices. The event underscored WAIPA’s commitment to supporting IPAs in navigating the challenges of sustainable development and investment facilitation, reinforcing the importance of international cooperation in achieving these goals.