UNIDO and International Organization of the Francophonie join forces for investment promotion
February 22, 2022
Fatou Haidara, UNIDO Managing Director for Corporate Management and Operations, has represented UNIDO at the investment forum, “Investir en Francophonie”, at the World Expo Dubai (UAE). Coorganized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Organization de la Francophonie (OIF), the Direction de la Francophonie économique et numérique (DFEN), the Forum Francophone des Affaires (FFA), the Réseau international des Agences francophones de promotion des investissements (RIAFPI), this important investment forum shed light on the attractivity of the Francophone economic space for investors.
During a high-level panel, Fatou Haidara indicated that, according to UNIDO’s Industrial Development Report 2022, the impact of the pandemic was heterogeneous at all levels of its analysis: regions, sectors, firms and workers. The report also found that countries with strong manufacturing systems were more resilient to the crisis. Its main conclusion is that industrial capacity is of fundamental importance to resilience.
Overall, the global recovery is beginning but in an uneven manner. In 2021, foreign direct investment (FDI) rebounded strongly, by 77% to $1,650bn from $1,000bn in 2020. Developed economies are expected to drive global FDI growth, partly due to large-scale support for public investment through stimulus packages.
In this respect, Haidara called for “strengthened cooperation in investment promotion to meet the current challenges of the Francophone economic space”. She reaffirmed the importance of the French-speaking countries economic space in the global economy, as they represent 16% of the world’s GDP and 20% of world trade in goods. She believes that the reconfiguration of global value chains (offshoring/relocation) and the growing importance of regional value chains, in particular through the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), will create new opportunities for African countries.
UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Offices (ITPOs) and expertise in guiding investors through each stage of the investment cycle directly contribute to help investors identify business opportunities and strengthen partnerships with technology providers and entrepreneurs.
Haidara concluded that in order for the recovery that has begun to gain momentum and to be inclusive, we must redouble our efforts to promote investment in order to accelerate the industrialization and diversification process of economies, especially the most vulnerable. To this end, UNIDO reiterated its willingness to work with the IOF, bilateral and multilateral partners, financial and development partners and the private sector.
On the sidelines of the forum, Haidara met with Geoffroi Montpetit, OIF Administrator, to discuss the potential renewal of the cooperation agreement signed between UNIDO and OIF in 1990.