Doha - Leaders and officials attending the third World
Investment Forum on Saturday called for channeling more investments to
poor nations and for introducing regulatory guidelines to help foster
"The structure of world investments and its
distribution has not witnessed a fundamental change after the global
financial crisis," Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki told the forum,
which opened in Doha.
"The main driving force for investment flows remain the
country's size and its resources, so poor nations are ignored," said
Marzouki, who called for more investments in Africa, which now attracts
just 4.4 percent of world outflows.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged
"international regulations to avoid investment protectionism," and
insisted that "stabilisation of capital flow is a challenge."
She called on the international business community to
think about development when deciding on investments, instead of
focusing only on profits.
The forum is being held in conjunction with the 13th
ministerial meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development, the first major meeting of the agency since the 2008 global
UNCTAD Secretary General Supachai Panitchpakdi
criticised the G20 nations for their "restrictive policies" with regard
to trade and investment, saying this amounted to a key challenge to the
outflow of foreign direct investment (FDI).
"Another challenge is that we need investments to be responsible ... we need investments in poor countries, in food," he said.
According to UNCTAD's latest report last week, global
FDI outflows rose by 16 percent in 2011 to an estimated $1.66 trillion
(1.26 trillion euros) to surpass the pre-crisis level, but still remain
25 percent below its peak reached in 2007.
However, that growth has failed to translate into
expanding productive capacity, as it was largely used for cross-border
acquisitions and to increase cash reserves kept in foreign affiliates.
Prospects for FDI outflows in 2012 are still improving,
but they remain guarded due to the fragility of the global economic
recovery, said the report.
Panitchpakdi said the reason for the failure of
investments to fully recover is because the "capital formation has not
taken place," and called for a "collective global governance for the
investments to prosper."