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ERIA Supports Investment Experts' Group Meeting at APEC Senior Officials' Meeting 3

4 August 2023

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Seattle, 4 August 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) took part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Workshop on Experience in Implementing Inclusive and Responsible Business and Investment (IRBI) and Climate FDI (foreign direct investment) Facilitation on 4 August 2023, as part of the APEC Investment Expert Group (IEG) Meeting, at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Third Senior Officials' Meeting in Seattle, Washington, US.

The Workshop was organised by APEC Malaysia and co-sponsored by Chile and China. ERIA supported the project, with the participation of experts from ERIA, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Economic Forum, and the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS UKM).

The aim of the workshop was to contribute to the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 first and third economic drivers, the APEC Aotearoa Plan of Action (AAPA) for implementing the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, the US APEC Host Year Theme of Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All, and the APEC 2022 Leaders' Declaration which reaffirmed 'the importance of sustainable financing, capacity building, and technical assistance for … addressing all environmental challenges, including climate change' and recognized 'that more intensive efforts are needed to address today’s challenges, including climate change … including by facilitating investments in relevant activities'.

The workshop brought together speakers and participants from APEC member economies, expert institutions and leading players in the private sector, to exchange views and share knowledge and good practices to further support the implementation of inclusive and responsible business and investment, as well as the facilitation of climate FDI.

The workshop had two segments, the first relating to experiences in implementing principles relating to inclusive and responsible business and investment (IRBI) in the APEC economies. This was to establish greater awareness and capacity of the economies to deliberate on IRBI as an IEG standing agenda.

In Session 1: Designing National and Regional Policies on Inclusive and Responsible Business and Investment, experts discussed regional and national strategies to encourage the adoption of policies relating to inclusive and responsible business and investment. Experts included Mariana Pinto Schmidt, Legal Advisor to the Investment, Services and Digital Economy Division, International Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile (presenting on Chile’s IRBI Principles); from the Malaysian Investment Development Board (presenting on Malaysia’s IRBI and the National Investment Aspiration); and Dr Intan Murnira Ramli, Senior Policy Fellow, ERIA (presenting on the Role of Good Regulatory Practice (GRP) in designing IRBI Policies in ASEAN).

In Session 2, speakers included Cristian Rodriguez Chiffelle, Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group and former CEO of InvestChile; Lauren Kickham, Climate Innovation Fund, Senior Impact Investment Lead, Microsoft; and Fares Al-Hussami, Economist and Project Manager, OECD. The expert speakers discussed the implementation of IRBI at the firm level.

In the second part, which focused on Facilitating Climate FDI, the World Economic Forum (WEF) shared with APEC economies its Guidebook on Facilitating Climate FDI published in July 2023. The guidebook's findings are on how to grow FDI to help support climate goals, known as ‘climate FDI’. The WEF, in collaboration with the Financial Times, has been conducting original research and convening firms, policymakers, international organizations, and academic experts to understand what investment measures can help grow climate FDI. A list of potential measures was developed, tightened, and refined, with four categories identified as the most promising and relevant for public-private cooperation. The Guidebook aims to be a resource for investment authorities (and especially investment promotion agencies or IPAs) to create an enabling environment to attract and facilitate climate FDI.

The session began with a discussion of Climate FDI Facilitation Measures, including aligning IPA strategies, key performance indicators (KPIs), investment incentives, and de-risking to climate goals; and creating a database of domestic suppliers which includes sustainability dimensions and developing a supplier development programme to help domestic firms become sustainable.

Soumyajit Kar, Specialist, International Trade and Investment, WEF conducted the framing and moderation for the discussion, with speakers including Camilo Manjarro, Senior Advisor, SelectUSA; Professor Dr Sufian Jusoh, Director and Professor of International Trade and Investment at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Peter Horn, Chair of National Investment Forum and Head of Investment and Net Zero Lead, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade); and Yi Jean Chow, Investment Principal, Clean Energy Ventures.

Session 2 began with a discussion of Climate FDI Facilitation Measures 3 on mapping multinational enterprise (MNE) climate commitments to investment opportunities in host economies, and creating a pipeline of endorsed and vetted climate-friendly investment projects which help MNEs deliver on their commitments; and Climate FDI Facilitation Measures 4 on working with investment authorities to consider provisions to promote and facilitate climate FDI in international investment agreements (IIAs). The framing and moderating were by Dr Matthew Stephenson, WEF, and those involved in the discussion were Masni Muhammad, Executive Director, Investment Policy Advocacy (Manufacturing), Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA); Lauren Kickham, Climate Innovation Fund, Senior Impact Investment Lead, Microsoft; Fares Al-Hussami, Economist and Project Manager, OECD; and Martin Brauch, Research Lead, Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment. The closing was conducted by Mariana Pinto Schmidt, Legal Advisor to the Investment, Services and Digital Economy Division, International Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile.

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