Skip to content Skip to nav Skip to search

Investment Policy & Promotion

Areas of Work » International Trade and Investment » Investment Policy & Promotion


Productive private sector investment is an important component of developing countries’ competitiveness and growth strategies. Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), in particular, helps to link a country’s domestic economy to global value chains in key sectors. FDI brings not only investment and jobs, but also increased exports, supply chain spillovers, and new technologies and business practices. These potential benefits require clear and effective implementation of investment strategies and policies that respond to the realities and aspirations of a particular country.

Countries also increasingly need to define their value proposition as an attractive investment location and to proactively market investment opportunities to investors in sectors and sub-sectors with comparative advantages relative to competing locations. This is particularly important for countries with little track record of attracting FDI or a reputation as difficult places to invest.

What the World Bank Group Offers

Support is provided to client governments to improve the investment policy framework, and to maximize the effectiveness of investment promotion efforts. This includes:

Investment Policy and Promotion Work Areas

Developing FDI Strategy and Investment Reform Map:

- Provide client governments with a logical framework to enable them to visualize the different types of FDI flowing into their economies and the different policy mixes and regulatory approaches required to maximize the potential benefits of each kind of investments.
- Set priorities to design coherent and concrete investment policy and promotion reform agendas, at economy and sector levels, leading to efficiently attract, facilitate, retain and link FDI with the domestic economy.

Improving the effectiveness of policies and efforts aimed at attracting and facilitating FDI, including:

- Establishing enhanced investor entry regimes by helping countries adopt and implement non-discriminatory treatment of foreign and domestic investors, reducing sectoral restrictions and performance requirements.
- Streamlining investment procedures.
- Enhancing investment promotion capacity, including targeted sector promotion to develop the competitive proposition for facilitating investment in key priority sectors and capacity building to undertake effective investor outreach and facilitation.

Promoting good practices in improving the effectiveness of investment incentives including helping clients to identify whether and how incentives contribute to FDI inflows and policy objectives such as employment generation, export promotion and sustainable development.

Strengthening investor confidence to help clients retain and expand FDI through: 

- Upgrading and improving legal and regulatory frameworks to reduce investment risks by putting in place measures addressing unlawful expropriation, protection against internationally recognized arbitrary actions or payment transfers, and currency convertibility.
- Increasing investment protection by promoting best practices in tracking and resolving key regulatory implementation issues as well as in investment grievance management.
- Designing and implementing investor aftercare programs that help clients build strong relationships with existing investors to facilitate company retention, expansion, and diversification, as well as deepening links with local suppliers.

Promoting good policies and practices in maximizing linkages and positive spillover effects of FDI for the local economy.

Implementing good practices to help clients participate in wider regional markets for investment through regional integration processes that promote greater FDI flows within and into a region.

Results on the Ground

As part of a larger investment climate program, the World Bank Group provided technical assistance on investment policy to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the goal of removing key regulatory and administrative obstacles for FDI. Advisory support focused on streamlining FDI registration procedures, increasing investors' access to investment and information, and improving the process for obtaining work permits for foreign employees. Project achievements include:
- Elimination of obligatory double registration of foreign investment at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations.
- Creation of an interactive business map for land-related transactions that contains useful information for investors on starting a business, such as economic and demographic data, infrastructure, natural resources, land use, and investment procedures (
- Reduction in the number of documents required to obtain expatriate work permits by more than half (from 19 to 8), as well as a cap on the time allowed for the government to approve permit applications (15 days rather than the previous 30-day limit).


Practice Manager, Investment Climate | Christine Zhenwei Qiang,

Contact Point, Investment Policy | Roberto Echandi,

Contact Point, Investment Promotion | Robert Whyte,

                                                            INVESTMENT POLICY TOOLKITS 

    - Investment Reform Map
    - Investment Entry
    - Investment Incentives

    - Investor Protection & Confidence