VIENNA, 14th May, 2016 (WAM) – Quality infrastructure development and investment promotion were identified as priority areas for future cooperation between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Bank Group at a meeting that took place in Vienna today.

It was emphasized that these areas are key for fostering inclusive and sustainable industrial development worldwide.

Setting up an infrastructure system is important in order for a developing nation to grow a thriving economy.

In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, UNIDO assists countries in developing a  quality infrastructure system and to help build up their industrial base as a platform for social inclusiveness, economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and as a way of integrating into the global trading system.

UNIDO and the World Bank Group have discussed the development of a quality policy framework, including international best practices, the creation of a benchmarking tool, as well as technical assistance in jointly defined priority countries.

“Quality and standards play a key role in achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Compliance with international standards is essential to absorb technology and related investment. Linking quality infrastructure development and cross-border investment can have significant impact in connecting SMEs from developing countries to global value chains”, said Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Director of UNIDO’s Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation.

The World Bank Group delegation was led by Christine Qiang, Practice Manager for Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice Investment Climate.

UNIDO and the World Bank agreed that in the field of cross-border investment their cooperation will be structured around applied research and pilot technical cooperation projects in selected countries.

Both parties also expressed interest in advancing the current stock of knowledge in the area of foreign direct investment (FDI) policies, such as investment incentives and inter-firm linkages, and agreed to collaborate in the creation of novel analytical approaches, sources of data and multi-stakeholder collaboration platforms. It was noted that joint knowledge products and integrated technical cooperation projects support the commitment towards guiding broader policy debate on investments as part of the global development agenda.

An international conference titled “Quality FDI, growth and development: discussing the impact and policy options”, is scheduled to take place in Vienna, from 14 to 15 September.