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Publication(Washington, DC, 2012-04) World Bank GroupGlobal flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) declined severely during the recent economic and financial crisis. As the crisis eased, recovery in world economies spurred a resurgence of FDI, and that in turn reignited competition for investments among host countries. Especially in emerging markets, governments long have prized FDI as a source of much-needed capital and jobs. But in the 21st century, governments value FDI as much or more as a source of technology and know-how. Policymakers have witnessed how knowledge brought by foreign investors can spill over to local firms, bolster skills in the local workforce, and thus increase the overall competitiveness of their economies. To foster development of intellectual capital as well as businesses and jobs, governments increasingly recognize the importance of cultivating FDI. Providing business and investment climate information is a crucial component of IPI activities in all economies. But IPIs can gain particular advantage in those settings where investors find it most difficult to obtain reliable information and meet bureaucratic requirements. Research shows, for example, that investment promotion is more effective in economies where English is not an official language, and in economies that are more culturally distant from the investors corporate homes. Investment promotion also has more impact in countries with less effective governments and in economies that erect more barriers to launching a business (such as more time to obtain a construction permit). In this 2012 edition, GIPB focuses specifically on information provision in two sectors, tourism and agribusiness. This focus should be of particular use to economies that seek or are considering seeking FDI in those sectors.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2011) World BankExecutive Directors continued to play an important role as the World Bank faced many challenges in a global post crisis economy. The Board considered a number of key documents in preparation for the committee on development effectiveness meetings. These included the World Development Report 2011, which focuses on conflict, security, and development, and responding to global food price volatility and its impact on food security, which examines the Bank's responses to food price increases and climate change risks. The Board approved more than $42 billion in financial assistance in fiscal 2011, comprising about $26 billion in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lending and $16 billion in International Development Association (IDA) support. During fiscal 2011 the Bank Group committed $57.3 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and to private businesses. IBRD commitments totaled $26.7 billion compared with $44.2billion in 2010, but still above pre crisis levels. The World Bank Group continues to operate under a real flat budget, for the seventh consecutive year.