INVESTMENT FACILITATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
Ambassador Sofía Boza of Chile and Ambassador Jung Sung Park of the Republic of Korea took over as co-coordinators of the negotiations following the departure of Ambassador Mathias Francke of Chile.
Several delegations took the floor to indicate their full support for finalising negotiations by the end of this year, as stated in the December 2021 Joint Statement on IFD. The co-coordinators announced their intention to circulate a revised version of the “Easter Text” after the August break to reflect the progress achieved since February this year. Ambassador Boza and Ambassador Park also invited interested delegations to share with them their sense of the negotiations' state of play and priorities for the months ahead to advance work as much as possible.
The co-coordinators reported on their consultations on “most-favoured nation (MFN) treatment/non-discrimination” and the definition of “authorization” for an investment as part of the section on scope and general principles in the future Agreement on Investment Facilitation for Development.
The co-coordinators also reported on their consultations on “other possible exclusions”, based on the report of the facilitator of the discussion group on “scope/exclusions” who consulted with groups of members about possible exclusions from the scope of application of the future IFD Agreement for government procurement, certain subsidies and taxation measures.
On MFN, participants welcomed a joint text contribution by four participating members. This text was deemed to be a positive step forward from past discussions, which had been conducted on the basis of several proposals on the MFN/non-discrimination provision. Overall, participants considered the joint text contribution, which follows a traditional MFN approach, a good basis for future discussions on the MFN provision.
Finally, the WTO Secretariat updated participating members on progress made by the Working Group on Investment Facilitation Needs Assessment in developing the “Self-Assessment Guide” since the last IFD plenary meeting in May.
A proposed schedule of meetings for the period September-December 2022 was shared with delegations. The schedule includes five IFD meeting sessions of three days each — with the first two days of each session devoted to consultations in various configurations and the third day reserved for an open-ended plenary meeting.
Participating members were also encouraged to make the best use of time available between meeting sessions for bilateral or small-group meetings to advance discussions on compromise text. The next IFD plenary meeting will take place on 20 July.
Member-driven, transparent, inclusive and open to all WTO members, the joint initiative on investment facilitation for development has more than 110 members (two-thirds of the WTO membership), up from the 70 members who endorsed the Joint Ministerial Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development launched at the 11th Ministerial Conference held in December 2017 in Buenos Aires.
A second Joint Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development was issued on 22 November 2019, with 98 members expressing support for the 2017 Joint Ministerial Statement.
A third Joint Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development, endorsed by over 110 members, was issued on 10 December 2021. In this statement, the signatories stated their aim to conclude the text negotiations by the end of 2022 and their determination to further intensify outreach efforts. The Joint Statement provides clear guidance for delegations in the negotiations and reiterates the importance of developing and least-developed country (LDC) members' participation in global investment flows as well as the need for technical assistance and capacity building to help them implement the future IFD Agreement.
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