World Trade Organisation Joint Statement Initiative on investment facilitation for development
At the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2017, Canada endorsed a Joint Ministerial Statement agreeing to discussions on a WTO framework on investment facilitation for development. Formal negotiations towards a WTO Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement began in September 2020.
Investment facilitation is about creating a more transparent, efficient, predictable and "investment-friendly" business climate by making it easier for investors to establish operations, conduct their day-to-day business, and expand their investments. The negotiations do not address market access, investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement.
WTO negotiations to date have covered a number of areas, including:
- Improving regulatory transparency and predictability – such as publishing investment-related measures and establishing enquiry points;
- Streamlining and speeding up administrative procedures – such as removing duplicative steps in approval processes and simplifying applications;
- Enhancing international cooperation and addressing the needs of developing members – such as providing technical assistance and capacity-building for developing countries and least developed countries; and
- Other investment facilitation-related issues – such as implementing provisions to encourage responsible business conduct.
Canada had made a number of submissions to the negotiations:
- In November 2020, Canada tabled a communication on financial services, with a view to adapting certain provisions of an Agreement on Investment Facilitation for Development to the specific context of financial services.
- In January 2021, Canada tabled a revised text proposal on anti-corruption, building on an earlier proposal shared in September 2020.
- In March 2021, Canada tabled an additional text proposal on responsible business conduct.
Public Consultation on a WTO Framework for Investment Facilitation for Development
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