*Karl P. Sauvant, PhD*
*Resident Senior Fellow*
*Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment*
Columbia Law School - The Earth Institute, Columbia University
435 West 116th St., Rm. JGH 825, New York, NY 10027
| p: (212) 854 0689 | cell: (646) 724 5600 e: [log in to unmask]
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"Sustainable FDI for Sustainable Development", "Towards an Investment
Facilitation Framework: Why? What? When?", "Beware of FDI Statistics!",
"Towards an Indicative List of FDI Sustainability Characteristics", “The
Importance of Negotiating Good Contracts", "A New Challenge for Emerging
Markets: the Need to Develop an Outward FDI Policy”, "China Moves the G20
toward an International Investment Framework and Investment Facilitation", "The
Next Step in Governance: The Need for Global Micro-regulatory Frameworks",
and "The Evolving International Investment Law and Policy Regime: Ways
Forward" *are* available at and

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*Columbia FDI Perspectives*
Perspectives on topical foreign direct investment issues
No. 222  March 26, 2018
Editor-in-Chief: Karl P. Sauvant ([log in to unmask])
Managing Editor: Matthew Schroth ([log in to unmask])
*Facilitating investment for sustainable development: it matters for Africa*
* <#m_2980802556106387515__edn1>
Makane Moïse Mbengue** <#m_2980802556106387515__edn2>

With Africa's population expected to double by 2050 to 2.2 billion, and
with 60% under 25, the continent stands at a critical juncture. How can
Africa generate the resources needed to improve its investment determinants
and business climate, generate employment opportunities and finance the
US$2.5 trillion needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The answer lies in strengthening international and regional cooperation to
facilitate sustainable FDI for sustainable development[1]
<#m_2980802556106387515__edn3> within Africa and help mobilize
international support for technical assistance and capacity building. The
current political climate in Africa shows that, even amongst the skeptics,
there is growing recognition that individual countries can benefit by
taking certain steps collectively.

There is no consensus on a definition of investment facilitation. However,
there is no doubt that investment facilitation focuses on measures aimed at
bringing about a more transparent, efficient and predictable
investment-friendly business climate by reducing the ground-level
obstacles, inefficiencies and unnecessary red tape faced both by domestic
and foreign investors.

Even though the inclusion of investment-facilitation provisions is a
relatively new feature in the existing 3,326 international investment
agreements, provisions facilitating the entry and sojourn of personnel and
furthering the transparency of laws and regulations have often been
prominent in domestic investment legislation and in the activities of
national investment promotion agencies throughout Africa. More recently,
some African countries have adopted national investment legislation and
policies that focus quasi-exclusively on investment facilitation (e.g.,
Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Tunisia).

Specific investment-facilitation measures include publication and
notification of investment-related actions; streamlining and speeding up of
administrative procedures*, *e.g. improving the processing, screening and
approval of applications; and reducing formalities and documentation
requirements through the creation of online information portals and single
windows. They might also include substantive facilitation such as tax

Africa as a continent is already envisioning investment-facilitation
measures for sustainable development on a bilateral, regional and, most
recently, continental level:

   - The Pan African Investment Code developed in 2015 to “promote,
   facilitate and protect investments that foster sustainable development”
   [2] <#m_2980802556106387515__edn4> is Africa's first continent-wide
   model investment agreement.
   - Negotiations on the first phase of the African Continental Free Trade
   Area (AfCFTA) will be concluded in March 2018 among the 55 member states of
   the African Union. The draft agreement includes several provisions on
   investment facilitation for sustainable development. The Phase II
   Negotiations—which will focus on AfCFTA’s investment chapter—will surely
   incorporate investment-facilitation provisions.

A group of WTO members, in partnership with Nigeria and the Economic
Community of West African States Commission, organized the High-Level Forum
on Facilitating Trade and Investment for Development in Abuja, Nigeria, in
November 2017. Bringing together capital-based trade and investment
officials from over 30 African countries and representatives of the private
sector, it showed that African countries want to engage in discussions on
investment facilitation. It highlighted the importance of
investment-facilitation reforms and the potential value-added of
multilateral rule-making in this area—provided it is compatible with
sustainable development. The “Abuja Statement”[3]
<#m_2980802556106387515__edn5> was unanimously endorsed. Investment
facilitation is also part of the G20 Compact with Africa, although this
initiative needs to stress better its relation to the achievement of the

At the WTO's Eleventh Ministerial Conference in December 2017, 70 members
(including five African members)  called to begin “structured discussions
with the aim of developing a multilateral framework on investment
facilitation”[4] <#m_2980802556106387515__edn6> in early 2018, making it
essential for all African members to participate in the ongoing debate.

While this is not the first attempt to bring investment rule-making into
the multilateral trading system, this latest initiative marks a departure
from the previous trend in two important respects. Whereas in the past, it
was largely developed countries pushing to multi-lateralize investment
rules, and developing countries resisting, now the main
proponents—Argentina, Brazil, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and others—are
developing countries. Second, historically, the focus was largely on
protecting investment (on the assumption that expanding investment was
simply a matter of minimizing investor risk); it now is on facilitating

To emerge as the next global growth frontier, African countries must be
involved fully to bring an African perspective to the debate on investment
facilitation for sustainable development at the WTO. African countries must
insist on the need for this debate to focus on sustainable development, an
objective explicitly enshrined in the Agreement establishing the WTO. It is
also essential to craft the debate in a systemic perspective. For instance,
investment-facilitation measures cannot be clinically isolated from the
duty of countries to conduct environmental impact assessments. Streamlining
and speeding up administrative procedures in the context of investment
facilitation needs to account for the reality of what SDGs require from

African countries must stress that investment facilitation is first and
foremost about attracting quality investment, i.e., sustainable FDI—not
just *more* investment. With the draft AfCFTA already including provisions
on investment facilitation, Africa can no longer ignore the ongoing
discussions on investment facilitation in the WTO—it must make it a
priority to shape an African voice and strategy.

* <#m_2980802556106387515__ednref1> *The Columbia FDI Perspectives are a
forum for public debate. The views expressed by the author(s) do not
reflect the opinions of CCSI or Columbia University or our partners and
supporters. Columbia FDI Perspectives (ISSN 2158-3579) is a peer-reviewed
** <#m_2980802556106387515__ednref2> Makane Mbengue ([log in to unmask])
is Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law University of
Geneva and Affiliated Professor at Sciences Po Paris (School of Law). The
author is grateful to Chiedu Osakwe, Mouhamadou Kane and Felipe Sandoval
for their helpful peer reviews.
[1] <#m_2980802556106387515__ednref3>  Karl P. Sauvant and Howard Mann,
“Sustainable FDI for sustainable development,” *Columbia FDI Perspectives*,
No. 221, March 12, 2018.
[2] <#m_2980802556106387515__ednref4>
[3] <#m_2980802556106387515__ednref5>
[4] <#m_2980802556106387515__ednref6> WT/MIN(17)/59.
*The material in this Perspective may be reprinted if accompanied by the
following acknowledgment: “Makane Moïse Mbengue, ‘Facilitating investment
for sustainable development: it matters for Africa,’ Columbia FDI
Perspectives, No. 222, March 26, 2018. Reprinted with permission from the
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (**
<>**).” A copy should kindly be sent to the
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at **[log in to unmask]*
<[log in to unmask]>*.*

For further information, including information regarding submission to the
*Perspectives*, please contact: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment,
Matthew Schroth, [log in to unmask]

*Most recent Columbia FDI Perspectives*

   - No. 221, Karl P. Sauvant and Howard Mann, “Sustainable FDI for
   sustainable development,” March 12, 2018.
   - No. 220, Roel Nieuwenkamp, “Responsible FDI is no longer optional,”
   February 26, 2018.
   - No. 219, Julien Chaisse and Matteo Vaccaro-Incisa, “The EU investment
   court: challenges on the path ahead,” February 12, 2018.

*All previous FDI Perspectives are available at
<>**. *

*Other relevant CCSI news and announcements*

   - *Save the Date: September 27-28, 2018:* This year, CCSI’s Annual
   Columbia International Investment Conference (CIIC) is on “Multinationals
   in the Age of Sustainable Development: New Thinking on the Role of
   International Investment Agreements.” The Conference, taking place
   alongside the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, will
   build on a multi-year effort to identify guiding principles and practical
   approaches for aligning international investment treaties with the
   Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additional information will be posted
   shortly on our website here
   - CCSI is still accepting applications for two of our upcoming executive
   trainings: on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture
   (June 19-29, 2018), and Investment Treaties and Arbitration for
   Government Officials
   (July 30-August 9, 2018). Each program is designed to equip participants
   with the necessary skills, analytical tools, and frameworks to address
   relevant challenges and opportunities, and to encourage a rich dialogue
   about best practices from around the globe. *More information about each
   training, including brochures and applications, is available at the links
   - CCSI has released its 2016-2017 Annual Report. *The full report is
   available here

Karl P. Sauvant, Ph.D.
Resident Senior Fellow
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Columbia Law School - Earth Institute
Ph: (212) 854-0689
Fax: (212) 854-7946
*Copyright © 2018 Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), All
rights reserved.*
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