Investment facilitation

UNCTAD's role
Negotiations on investment facilitation are underway in various fora so that countries can make it easier for investors to create and operate their businesses.
In supporting countries to meet their commitments, UNCTAD believes in focusing scarce public resources on a limited number of key investment facilitation interventions with the highest potential development return on investment. These are:
Improved information provision to investors
Increased transparency of rules and regulations for investors
Streamlined administrative and authorization procedures
UNCTAD’s interventions are:
Always on They prioritize elements of investment facilitation that are needed all the time, not just under exceptional circumstances (e.g. when a dispute looms).
For all investors Transparent, streamlined and digital administrative processes and registrations help local firms as much as foreign investors, and MSMEs as much as (or more than) multinationals.
All encompassing Rather than putting in place dedicated processes and systems for investment authorizations only, they capture economies of scope by gradually covering all or most procedures and services required by foreign and local businesses (e.g. business registration, tax/social security registration, licenses etc.).
Experience has also shown that most streamlining of administrative procedures can be done without changing laws, which is important for rapid and obstacle-free implementation.
UNCTAD’s tools for investment facilitation
UNCTAD has published a special Investment Policy Monitor dedicated to investment facilitation.
Read publication
It has also developed a tool for ASEAN to improve its digital investment facilitation as part of the ASEAN Investment Facilitation Framework. Similar tools can also be developed for other regions
Visit website
Relationship between typical investment facilitation commitments and UNCTAD’s technical assistance products

Online investment guides

Learn more

Digital information portals

Learn more

Digital single windows

Learn more
Publication of information and procedures on laws, regulations and procedures affecting investment.
Publication of lists or catalogues indicating which sectors are allowed, restricted or prohibited for foreign investment.
Establishment of a national investment website for information purpose.
Publication of the information on competent authorities including contact details.
Publication of timeframe required to process an application associated to any specific investment decision.
Information published on fees and charges.
Publication of information on procedural rules for appeal and review.
Publication of timeframes to process an application.
Focal Point responses to enquiries of governments, investors and other interested parties.
Cooperation and coordination of the activities of agencies involved in the management of investment, with a view to improving and facilitating investment.
Availability of online business registration system.
Competent authorities accept submission of an application at any time throughout the year.
Copies of documents accepted.
Publication of timeframes to process an application.
Availability of information concerning the status of the application.
Inform the applicant of the decision concerning an application.
Availability of a national investment portal (or single window) for the submission and/or processing of applications online.
Possibility to submit all documents necessary for investment applications simultaneously (e.g. business registry, national and/or state/municipal tax identification number, social security, pension schemes).
Cooperation and coordination of the activities of agencies involved in the management of investment, with a view to improving and facilitating investment.