Ambassador-designate of Chile Mathias Francke, coordinator of the negotiations, said this fourth round concluded “a productive year despite the challenging circumstances” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed the importance of preparing the ground for a successful new series of meetings in the coming months and up to MC12. The coordinator will conduct bilateral consultations in the second week of January with participants wishing to exchange views on the way forward.

This last round of meetings continued the negotiations based on the informal consolidated text, covering a wide range of aspects. Participants engaged in a constructive discussion on issues such as the most-favoured nation (MFN) treatment and on proposals for the creation of a single portal, the setting up of domestic supplier databases and the designation of investment facilitators. Proposals by various delegations on special and differential treatment (Section V), institutional arrangements and final provisions (Section VII) and the preamble also prompted an open and constructive debate. 

Participants were updated on the submission of five formal proposals since the last round of negotiations on 9-10 November — one by Canada on authorization fees in the financial sector, one by Chinese Taipei on the insulation of the future investment framework from international investment agreements (the so-called “firewall” provision) and three revised texts by Brazil with regards to the single portal, the domestic supplier database and the designation of investment facilitators.

The coordinator also outlined the main outcomes of the intersessional meetings on 23 and 27 November where discussions were held on such elements of the future agreement as responsible business conduct and anti-corruption measures. Discussions also covered the drafting of issues where there seems to be a good degree of convergence among delegations, including multiple applications, appeal or review, domestic regulatory coherence and cross-border cooperation.

Participating members thanked the coordinator for his leadership in steering discussions and subsequent negotiations despite the very difficult circumstances amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The workplan proposed by the coordinator to keep streamlining the consolidated text and incorporating members' proposals was well received by participants who committed to working and discussing among themselves, or in small groups, in order to find common ground for concrete wording. 


Member-driven, transparent, inclusive and open to all WTO members, this joint initiative currently has the participation of 106 members, up from the 70 that supported the Joint Ministerial Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development launched at the 11th Ministerial Conference held in December 2017 in Buenos Aires.

In a second Joint Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development issued on 22 November 2019, 98 members expressed support for the 2017 joint ministerial statement. They committed to intensify work to further develop the framework for facilitating foreign direct investment, and to work towards a concrete outcome on Investment Facilitation for Development at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12). These members also agreed to continue their outreach efforts towards WTO members, especially developing and least-developed members, to ensure that the future framework helps to address their investment facilitation priorities and needs.




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