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  October 1st, 2015 | Written by

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

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  • The World Bank-Australia SPIRA program will provide countries with resources on investment policy and promotion.
  • Crossborder investments benefit countries by transforming production, bringing jobs, and improving productivity.
  • Countries need effective investment policies to maximize gains from foreign direct investment.

A new World Bank Group program launched 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, according to a statement from the World Bank, that crossborder 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 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.

“Australia’s three-million Australian dollar contribution to this partnership with the World Bank,” said Julie Bishop, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, “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 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 and competitiveness global practice.