NEW DELHI – The World Investment Conference (WIC) 2023, the annual meeting of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), has concluded in New Delhi after an action-packed four days of high-level panels, exclusive roundtables, working group meetings and investor-investee matchmaking sessions. WAIPA’s General Assembly was also held during the event, ushering in a newly elected Steering Committee.

The event was attended by IPAs from around the world as well as government ministers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, funding bodies, policymakers and top representatives of multilateral institutions. The theme was Empowering Investors: IPAs Pioneering Future Growth. Importantly, more than 70% of registered attendees were from the private sector.

Hosted since 1995, WIC is the flagship event of the WAIPA, the main global body representing agencies charged with attracting inward investment to their jurisdictions. WIC 2023 is the 27th iteration of the event but the first time it has been held in India. It was hosted by Invest India, which holds the presidency of the WAIPA and was re-elected to a new term during the General Assembly. The event was conducted under the auspices of India’s Ministry of Commerce. Shri Piyush Goyal, Honourable Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles, addressed the congress.

His Excellency Jan Christian Vestre, Honourable Minister of Trade of Norway; Her Excellency Manuella Santos, Honourable Minister of Investment of Togo; His Excellency Ibrahim Almubarak, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and Her Excellency Helene Budliger Artieda, State Secretary for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, also made addresses during a ministerial session focused on The Role of Trade and Investment in the Decade of Action.

“I am grateful to all our partners for making WAIPA’s 27th World Investment Conference a huge success!” said Nivruti Rai, CEO Invest India and President of WAIPA. “The echoes of the 27th World Investment Conference at Yashobhoomi will reverberate far beyond the venue’s walls. We transcended mere investment discussions, fostering a global dialogue on the crucial challenges of our time. From climate change and inequality to the frontiers of technology, diverse voices from domestic and international IPAs, multilateral organisations, governments, investors, industry, and start-ups converged to forge a shared resolve for a brighter future.”

For the first time ever, and in keeping with the WAIPA’s role as a connector of investors and IPAs, this year’s WIC provided a platform to match investors with investible projects in countries worldwide. The Investor-IPA Connect session, which took place on 13 December, facilitated not only the presentation of investible projects but also exclusive one-on-one interactions.

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“I am proud to say that the World Investment Conference is becoming a platform where investors and IPAs are meeting. We are creating real deals and we want IPAs to go back home with real investments,” said Ismail Ersahin, CEO and executive director of WAIPA.

“Our membership is growing and with that comes a responsibility to provide value to our members. Creating a bridge between our members and the world’s investors is one way we can do that.”

Among other sessions, the Global Leaders Forum: Investing for a Better World discussed how to address imbalances in global foreign direct investment flows, with divisional directors in multilateral institutions and heads of international associations calling for careful, considered and investment-friendly policymaking and a reduction in trade and investment barriers in order to reduce inequities.

High-level panels saw speakers from industry, government, finance and investment, and multilaterals examine such themes as Investment in Technology and the SDGs and Connecting Investors with Promising Investible Projects.

On day four of the conference, a closed-door meeting of IPAs of G20 nations reasserted the commitment of the WAIPA, its partners, holder of the current G20 presidency India and incoming G20 president Brazil, to the pursuit of sustainable development and stressed the importance of G20 IPAs in a changing world order.