23 May 2011

WTI holds the first of a series of Roundtable discussions on the Emerging European Investment Policy in Brussels

The World Trade Institute – through its International Investment Initiative – held the first of a series of Roundtable discussions on the emerging European Investment Policy in Brussels on 23 May 2011. The event was organised in cooperation with the Madagiara-College of Europe Foundation.

Over the past two decades, the transformation of the international investment landscape has been profound and multi-dimensional. Trade and investment flows have become inherently complementary of each other. Emerging economies have become important investors in developed countries, often acting through sovereign wealth funds and state-owned enterprises. For its part, the EU has become both the main source and recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide. These transformations are some of the many factors that will have to be taken into account in the development of the EU’s post-Lisbon European Investment Agreements (EIAs).

Against this background, the World Trade Institute’s International Investment Initiative "I3" and the Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation have decided to launch a series of roundtable discussions on the European Investment Policy. Operating under Chatham House rules, each roundtable aims to encourage mutual learning and an open discussion among a select group of public officials, private investors, practitioners and academic experts in the investment field.

The first roundtable laid the basis for future exchanges by discussing in more general terms a number of “perimeter” aspects of the future European investment policy, allowing all key stakeholders to delineate their viewpoints and provide the group as a whole with a fuller sense of the substantive and procedural challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as competence on investment matters migrates towards the European Commission.

"The success of this first roundtable discussion shows the strong interest of the different stakeholders to discuss in an open and informal way pertinent issues of the European international investment policy post-Lisbon. The WTI is keen to assist in this mutual learning process and provide a forum for informal exchange. This is a central role that academia can play in helping to foster dialogue and informing this critical incipient debate." said Pierre Sauvé, Deputy Managing Director of the WTI in concluding the first roundtable.