Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How well are government agencies promoting their countries?

A new report by the World Bank Group finds that over 70 percent of government investment-promotion intermediaries miss out on investment and job-creating opportunities by failing to provide accurate and timely information to potential investors.

Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking 2009 shows how effectively government agencies are promoting their countries to foreign investors. The report examines the ability of 181 countries to influence foreign investors' site-selection process. It assesses the response of these agencies to two potential projects-a software developer and a beverage-manufacturing company seeking to expand operations in each country.

According to the report, only 10 out of 181 countries followed up with potential investors to secure projects.

The Austrian Business Agency emerged as number one worldwide, based on the report's rankings. Middle-income countries are showing immense progress in competing for mobile investment, particularly Brazil, Botswana, Colombia, Lithuania, and Turkey. Lower-income countries like Honduras and Sri Lanka, which offer strong facilitation services, are evidence that a country's income is not linked to performance.

So, how does Nepal government’s investment promotion agency stand in this picture? The report mentions that the performance of Department of Industries-Foreign Investment Division, Nepal is ‘WEAK’.