Investment Promotion Agency Performance Review 2006: Providing Information to Investors
In the increasingly competitive environment for FDI, a fundamental challenge for investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in the developing world is to meet the information requirements of investors researching sites to locate their projects. The stakes are very high for IPAs to make a good first impression or risk losing the opportunity for consideration.
MIGA’s technical assistance group (since merged into FIAS) published a study that benchmarks the performance of IPAs in providing information to investors engaged in their initial screening, or “long listing” of project locations. The Investment Promotion Agency Performance Review 2006 evaluates the web sites and inquiry-handling practices of 114 developing-economy and 11 developed-economy IPAs against multi-dimensional measures of quality in these two areas. The study is unique in both its large sample size and the breadth of its assessment. The first in a planned series focusing on aspects of IPA customer service, this study provides global and actionable context for FIAS' capacity-building efforts in working with agencies to attract FDI.
The study’s results reflect a wide spectrum of performance. There were encouraging performances by some IPAs in nearly all developing regions, although all regions still lagged behind global best practices. The developing-economy IPAs scored considerably better in the web site assessment than in the two inquiry-handling exercises. Overall, the results suggest that at least half of the surveyed developing-economy IPAs are not yet providing the levels of service and information that investors expect. Most would benefit from a focus on improving both the systems and skills used in interfacing with investors and the quantity and quality of information provided.
This publication discusses the study’s context, methodology and results, which are presented on a regional, rather than individual-IPA basis. It outlines industry standards of quality that may be particularly useful for IPAs in building their service operations.