Daily Sabah - The World Investment Conference, organized by the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), was held in Istanbul on October 13-14. Among the attendees were over 100 investment agency officials as well as high-level executives of the World Bank, the International Labor Organization, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
A key theme of Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek’s speech at the conference was that Turkey would continue cooperating with western countries despite some disagreements. He mentioned that, even after the July 15 failed coup attempt, Turkey would like to update the Customs Union Agreement with the EU. Şimşek saw no reason that Turkey could not increase its trade volume with the EU over the next 10 years. He ended by saying that in order to achieve its pre-crisis levels of growth rate, Turkey should take all measures, including structural reforms.
Also speaking at the conference, Arda Ermut, President of WAIPA and the Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), announced that they aim to establish an investment market that would bring developed and emerging economies together. Ermut stressed the strong role of the conference in terms of direct investments around the world and the strategies followed by the related institutions responsible for these investments. Upon taking over the presidency of this organization in 2014, Ermut recalled that one of the first things they accomplished was to move WAIPA’s headquarters from Geneva to Istanbul, citing the latter’s more central location to countries actively seeking foreign direct investments. Mentioning their goal of encouraging investments through cooperation among international organizations and investors, he further said that besides 168 members from 30 countries, WAIPA is working to involve even more members into the association in an attempt to make it even more inclusive.
WAIPA was founded in 1995 as an association under Swiss law. It is a non-governmental organization that provides the opportunity for investment promotion agencies to network and exchange best practices in investment promotion. Apart from building the human resources capacity of its member agencies, WAIPA also organizes training events, either independently or in coordination with partner organizations.