Zim welcomes WTO investment agreement

ZIMBABWE has welcomed the finalisation of the Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement that will enhance the capacity for developing and least developed countries to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) through streamlined processes and administrative procedures among other benefits.

The Agreement was reached by Ministers of Trade representing 123 countries at the ongoing 13th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi.

Zimbabwe’s delegation is being led by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Frederick Shava.

In a statement, the Ministry said Dr Shava extended the country’s gratitude to the co-ordinators for their sterling work in facilitating negotiations to reach the historic outcome for participating WTO members.

“The Minister reiterated the country’s support for the joint Ministerial Declaration on the IFD agreement and congratulated participating members for the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the plurilateral Agreement on investment facilitation for development and said the negotiations were inclusive, transparent and embodied the spirit of the WTO multilateralism.

“The agreement on the IFD, once it comes into force, will greatly enhance capacity for developing and least developed countries to attract foreign direct investment through streamlined processes and administrative procedures and the adoption of the trade facilitation agreement approach to technical assistance will greatly assist developing countries like Zimbabwe and least developed countries to comply with their obligations.

“The agreement, when adopted, will significantly assist Zimbabwe in reaching its goals in terms of its economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1, where foreign direct investment is identified as one of the key pillars for the country’s economic success,” reads part of the statement.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala highlighted the importance of the achievement and said: “In the space of six years, the world has moved from preparatory work to a pioneering Agreement that promises to help its signatories attract the foreign direct investment they want to drive growth, productivity gains, job creation, and integration into global supply chains.”

She emphasised that the IFD Agreement “will contribute to making the global economy more resilient and inclusive.”

MC13 Chair, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that the finalisation of the IFD Agreement is the result of more than six years of work, dedication and vision of more than 120 members.

“This agreement is proof of the power of collaboration and compromise and the shared vision of an open and rule-based trade,” he said.


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