More than 5,000 participants from 160 countries will meet in Geneva to thrash out major new investment-for-development initiatives. They will gather at UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum 2018 in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland from 22–26 October.
The conference comes amid mounting disquiet about declining investment flows and their impact to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is adopted by the international community three years ago.
“Global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23% in 2017,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
“Cross-border investment in developed and transition economies dropped sharply, while growth was near zero in developing economies. With only a very modest recovery predicted for 2018, this negative trend is a long-term concern for policymakers worldwide, especially for developing countries.”
Private sector investment in developing countries totalling US$3.9 trillion a year is needed. This is to meet the Sustainable Development Goals – the core of the 2030 Agenda. However, current levels leave an investment gap of some $2.5 trillion.
The forum marks its 10th anniversary. Most noteworthy, it remains the premier venue to forge partnerships between investment and development stakeholders to close this gap.
Hence, this is a unique gathering of high-level players from the global investment-development community. It provides an opportunity to hold open dialogue, brainstorm solution-oriented initiatives and foster global alliances to advance prosperity for all.
This year’s event comprises some 60 events, including three summits, five ministerial round tables, private-sector led sessions and several awards ceremonies.
Therefore, the forum gives participants a chance to spotlight priorities for attracting and channelling investment that will drive sustainable development. Finally, it will also focus on transformative actions and innovative financing modes for development. These include blockchain, sustainability bonds and blended finance.
Speakers from business and special guests include more than 30 top executives of multinationals, among them Aviva, De Beers, Coca Cola, ContourGlobal, Jumia, Lavazza, PwC, Siemens Financial Services, and UBS.
There will also be the heads of stock exchanges including those in Bombay, Johannesburg, Luxembourg, Nasdaq Nordic, SIX and Shenzen. Also attending are leaders of sovereign wealth and pension funds.
Fourteen heads of state and government have confirmed they will attend. They include those from Armenia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Lesotho, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Switzerland.
Moreover, more than fifty ministers and 21 heads of international organizations will join them.
As well as United Nations entities, 50 other organizations will be at the event, including the Commonwealth, the International Labour Organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the International Olympic Committee, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the International Telecommunication Union, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Economic Forum, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank Group.