INVESTMENT FACILITATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
Ministers will be presented at MC12 with a Joint Ministerial Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development and a revised version of the so-called Easter text, the consolidated document which will serve as the basis for continuing the negotiations post-MC12. Three new members — Albania, Georgia and Solomon Islands — announced their decision to co-sponsor the Joint Ministerial Statement. Delegations participating in the negotiations expressed the hope that more new members will co-sponsor the statement in the coming days.
Chaired by Rodrigo Yáñez, Vice-Minister of Trade of Chile, the ministerial meeting will be open to all WTO members. Ministers are expected to formally adopt the Joint Ministerial Statement, which would then be circulated to the full WTO membership as an official ministerial document. A press conference will take place after the meeting.
The coordinator of the negotiations, Ambassador Mathias Francke of Chile, commended the work done by participating members since the formal launch of the negotiations in September 2020. “It has been a very productive year. You have made considerable progress in the negotiations since last year, as the ‘Easter Text’ very clearly reflects. This could be achieved thanks to your constructive engagement and positive spirit in our discussions, and I would like to thank you all for that,” he said.
“We have an important and meaningful Joint Ministerial Statement, recognizing that the fifth revision of the ‘Easter Text’ will be the basis of the negotiations next year, and setting an ambitious but achievable target date for the conclusion of the text negotiations by the end of 2022. With these two documents … you reached a tangible and promising result for MC12. I am happy and looking forward to continuing our discussions in January,” Ambassador Francke added.
Schedule of meetings for first half of 2022
Members agreed on a proposed schedule of IFD meetings for the first half of 2022, as reflected in document INF/IFD/W/41. It is proposed that eight two-day negotiating meetings be held between January and July 2022, the first one being scheduled for 26-27 January 2022. All meetings will be regular negotiating meetings — with generally three weeks between them to allow more time for domestic consultations as well as consultations among members.
Member-driven, transparent, inclusive and open to all WTO members, this joint initiative currently has the participation of over 100 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 intensifying 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). Participating members also agreed to continue their outreach efforts towards non-participating WTO members, especially developing and least-developed members, to ensure that the future framework helps address their investment facilitation priorities and needs.