World’s first multilateral investment agreement concludes text negotiations

International Business News  –  The World Trade Organization (WTO) Investment Facilitation Agreement (IFA), the world’s first multilateral investment agreement, has successfully concluded its text negotiations, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce on 7 July.

On July 6, the WTO investment facilitation negotiations held an ambassadorial-level meeting. At the meeting, the co-facilitators of the negotiations, Ambassador Bosa of Chile to the WTO and Deputy Representative Park Jung Sung of Korea to the WTO, issued a statement announcing the successful conclusion of the text negotiations of the Investment Facilitation Agreement.

The main rules of the Agreement on Investment Facilitation include enhancing the transparency of investment policies, simplifying administrative approval procedures, promoting cross-border investment facilitation cooperation and promoting sustainable development.

The head of the WTO Department of the Ministry of Commerce said on the 7th that the agreement would help to enhance the stability and predictability of global investment regulatory policies, further boost the confidence of global investors and promote the stable growth of global investment. In addition, according to the negotiation outcome arrangement, the Agreement on Investment Facilitation will provide corresponding technical assistance to developing members in need to help them enhance their capacity to implement the Agreement, optimize the business environment and promote sustainable development.

In recent years, Chinese outbound investment has grown rapidly. Official data shows that China’s outward FDI stock reached US$278.55 billion at the end of 2021, distributed in 190 countries and regions around the world.

The person in charge said that the negotiations on investment facilitation cover more than 110 WTO members, including the European Union, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria, covering most European, South American, Asian and African countries where Chinese investment is high. The investment facilitation agreement will simplify the investment approval procedures of the participating parties, improve the efficiency of investment approval, reduce the cost of enterprises and provide more protection for Chinese enterprises’ outbound investment.