GLOBAL: Thewill resume foreign investment promotion work in Sierra Leone within the next year after the project was stalled following the Ebola outbreak in 2014; and is considering entering new markets this year to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into member countries.
Speaking to IFN, Mohammed Bukhari, the head and senior specialist of the Investment Promotion Technical Assistance Program (ITAP), confirmed that the’s promotion unit is working on mobilizing the last phase of its 2013 Sierra Leone technical assistance program – conducting an investment forum to attract foreign capital – by mid 2017. Bukhari also revealed that the ITAP has received requests from Azerbaijan, Ivory Coast and Nigeria seeking the ’s assistance in identifying potential investment opportunities and building their capacity to pull foreign dollars onto their shores.
At a global level,nations rank last in terms of securing FDIs: according to ITAP data, accounted for less than 10% of world FDIs in 2013. The ITAP was set up in 2007 to bolster FDI into nations by improving the investment climates of these markets through the provisions of technical assistance including assessment studies, capacity-building of investment promotion agencies and relevant government institutions and promoting feasible projects to investors from across the globe.
With around 30 capacity development programs in collaboration with various partners and over 10 long and short-term technical assistance programs for member countries, theunit recently completed a project in Gambia which attracted Saudi Arabian investors into the country’s agricultural and tourism sectors. Efforts in Uganda yielded US$1 billion in investments from 60 Gulf investors who saw opportunities in the East African nation, particularly in its agricultural, mining and fishery segments.
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