Australia and the World Bank Group Join Forces to Boost Investment in Indo-Pacific Countries

September 27, 2015

NEW YORK, September 27, 2015—A new World Bank Group program launched today by the Government of Australia will help countries in the Indo-Pacific region boost and attract potential foreign direct investments and improve economic growth.

Over the next two years, the new Support Program on Investment Policy and Related Areas (SPIRA) will provide countries in the region with resources, assistance and global best practices on investment policy and promotion to enhance their competitiveness.

Evidence shows that cross-border investments can benefit countries by transforming domestic production, bringing more and better jobs, improving productivity, facilitating knowledge transfer, and enabling integration with global value chains. But these benefits are not automatic; countries need effective investment policies in order to maximize potential foreign direct investment (FDI) gains. SPIRA will help developing countries improve their investment policy and promotion frameworks and address legal, regulatory, and administrative impediments to attracting, retaining and extending FDI.

Acknowledging the key role SPIRA will play in helping developing countries, Julie Bishop, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs said: “Australia’s AUD3 million contribution to this partnership with the World Bank will foster sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in the Indo-Pacific region through increased private sector investment.”

Through SPIRA, Australia and the World Bank Group will have the chance to lead global discussions on investment policy through guided dialogue with investors and businesses, as well as peer-to-peer learning events, policy toolkits and flagship reports. “SPIRA is a great opportunity for the World Bank Group and Australia to bring innovative solutions for investment policy and promotion to Indo-pacific countries,” said Anabel González, Senior Director of the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Elena Gex
Tel : (202) 473-1708
In Canberra
Arnold Jorge
Tel : +61 2 6261 3832; +61 424191311