The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Miga), a member of the World Bank Group, has launched FDI Promotion Center (www.fdipromotion.com), an online knowledge-sharing and learning portal designed to serve the growing community of investment promotion professionals, particularly those in developing countries.
The free website provides resources to help practitioners update their knowledge and skills covering the complex and often lengthy process of securing inward investment.
“We wanted to create a single web destination that addresses the day-to-day, practical information needs of practitioners at all levels,” Tessie San Martin, director of Investment Marketing Services at Miga, says.
“Our overall goal is to help our developing member client countries effectively compete for investment in an increasingly tough environment,” she says. “To do this, we broke down the key functions and activities, and then offered a systematic framework of tactics and techniques that can be implemented by promotional organisations.”
Miga’s new online resources are designed to benefit investment promotion agencies, which typically develop highly segmented, sophisticated marketing and incentive programmes to court potential investors, often in the manufacturing and service industries, to set up plants and facilities in their locations. The new resources are also available to other business promotion organisations, such as industry associations, as well as operators of free zones and industrial parks.
The centerpiece of FDI Promotion Center is an updated Investment Promotion Toolkit, first published by Miga in 2001 and previously available in print as a series of reference publications. The toolkit focuses on nine key aspects of investment promotion, including:
- understanding FDI
- developing an investment promotion agency
- creating a promotional strategy
- building partnerships
- strengthening the location’s image
- targeting and generating investment opportunities
- post-investment client service
- monitoring and evaluating activities
- utilising information technology
The agency plans to add an expanded module on the use of web applications and information technology to support promotional activities in the coming months. Versions of these resources in other languages are also part of the long-term strategy.
In addition, FDI Promotion Center incorporates a wide-ranging collection of promotional tools, including case studies, sample presentations and advertising materials, guidelines and checklists, sample terms of reference, and sector or country-specific analyses. An investment promotion practitioner logging on to the site will find, for example, a pro-forma spreadsheet illustrating the financial and market analysis typically undertaken by an electronics firm reviewing alternative plant locations, as well as details of a successful programme for conducting investor outreach to the textile and apparel industry in Southeast Asia.
“The promotional tools component is the conduit for sharing recent innovation in the field,” says San Martin. “These how-to resources represent solutions and best practices for common situations and challenges in attracting and retaining investment, which can be used by a wide range of professionals involved in promotion activities.”
FDI Promotion Center also offers IPAworks, an open source software application for creating an investment promotion website, details on Miga’s investor outreach tools for targeted online marketing to prospective investors, and a database of web links to resources for researching potential target companies. An e-learning component, which will offer online courses covering various investment promotion disciplines, will be launched in the near future.