On September 9, United Nations ESCAP, WAIPA, and the Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce, China (MOFCOM) hosted the UN Asia-Pacific Innovation Forum in Xiamen on the side of the China International Fair for Investment & Trade (CIFIT). With support from the World Economic Forum, the conference brought together CEOs and top executives from the region’s investment promotion agencies, digital FDI experts, and digital businesses with pan-Asian operations.
Against the backdrop of our work with IPAs on attracting digital FDI and using new technologies in their work, our Director Dr. Kim J. Zietlow was invited to speak on the session “Incorporating AI into Investment Promotion”. He stressed that IPAs need to thoroughly assess what they want to use AI for in their work and whether they are prepared for it. Successful implementation requires a sufficient financial budget, technological know-how, and capacity amongst staff. Kim further emphasized that AI tools need to be used productively and thoughtfully so that they create additional value for the IPA. For instance, the Estonian Investment Agency measures the number of staff hours saved from using AI-powered tools to assess the degree of effectiveness.
Conference participants also discussed the requirements of digital businesses when expanding to other locations and their expectations from IPAs. Regional IPAs revealed their approaches to using FDI to accelerate digital transformation of their economies. As company representatives stressed, locations need to provide digital infrastructure such as connectivity or cloud infrastructure, a conducive regulatory environment allowing businesses to freely exchange data and employ the right talent, and targeted incentives tailored to companies in the digital economy.
FDI Center is pleased to continue its close collaboration with WAIPA and UN ESCAP to provide technical expertise to their members on how to thrive in a competitive and challenging global environment.