Q: What important themes emerged from the conference for investment promotion agencies, for now and for the future?

A: There is a sense that promotion agencies need to change what they do because no other institution within the government can combine the private and public sectors on an international level and understand what is going on around the world as we do. We have the information but we are a little removed from reality. At the moment we just deliver promotion and marketing events but we believe we could be used by governments to help guide public policy. Promoting investment is very important but we also need to do some developing investment. The only way to speed up the process of recovery in some areas is to make intellectual property (IP) more of a link between public policy and the private sector. As a result, we must change the way we work. I came to the conference to talk about aftercare and promotion and to discuss the experiences different agencies have had of helping shape internal policies and guiding governments to have better investment policies. Another important question is how do you relate the new FDI investment to your local economy and to your local suppliers so that your government sees FDI as important to your country’s development? The role of IP needs to improve and go deeper. We need more instruments for that and one window of opportunity we have is the financial crisis, which has given us a better idea of how to help, to shape and improve.


Q: Do you think the financial crisis is still a major concern for IP agencies?

A: If you look at the European agencies, they really worry that the crisis is still having a strong effect on Europe. This is not just because of the devaluation of Europe but because of the problems it is facing in terms of jobs and, even more importantly, capacity creation in terms of new economic diversification.

[Investment agencies] have the information but we are a little removed from reality... we believe we could be used by governments to help guide public policy

Q: What can you say about the role of emerging markets?

A: It is clear that emerging markets are playing an important role in defining where and how to invest – and no longer just in terms of natural resources. There is a change in the quality of investments going to emerging markets. Many of these investments used to go to Europe or the US. This movement away from them is not a question of red tape or bureaucracy but of assessing large markets. For example, [export and investment promotion agency ] Apex-Brazil has been working with IBM, General Electric and Blackberry, who have all announced investments in Brazil. They are increasing production and placing their new R&D labs there. This movement into emerging markets is not due to production or labour costs but is about diversifying knowledge management from the US or Europe to emerging markets. It has changed the quality of the investments that have been taking place in recent years.


 Alessandro Teixera