2017 WAIPA World Investment Conference Video
2016 WAIPA World Investment Conference Video
About 24th WAIPA World Investment Conference

WIC Topic: The future of FDI: Prospects, challenges and role of IPAs


Rationale for Panel 1: Rebounding the slide of FDI: Key factors, policy concerns and opportunities.

Estimated global FDI flows were $1.3 trillion in 2018, which is 13% decline compared to the last year. This is the third consecutive drop in FDI flows and lowest since the global financial crisis. FDI slide is mainly concentrated in developed economies that experienced staggering 40% decline in FDI inflows. Key drivers behind these trends are policy and economic factors in addition with the structural changes in the way international business is conducted, i.e. rise of the digital economy and shift towards intangibles.

Implications of negative FDI trends are important concern for policymakers as FDI is an essential element in countries’ efforts to stimulate and enhance economic development. Especially it is significant for the developing world and transition economies due to their need of capital to stimulate industrialization. This panel will discuss main factors behind the slow-down in overseas investments, role of IPAs and attempt to find solutions.


  • UNCTAD. (2019). Global Investment Trend Monitor, No:31. Geneva.
  • UNCTAD. (2019). World Investment Report. Geneva.


Rationale for Panel 2: FDI in the digitalized world

The digital revolution has left profound impact on the overall global economy. The recent statistics show that half of the world’s population is online, while internet industry has significant contribution to the GDPs of countries. These trends have significant implications on FDI. They shaped the way international business is conducted producing the new investment patterns with different impacts on host countries. Furthermore, digital technologies enabled higher efficiency and provided new development opportunities.

Reaping the benefits of digitalization remain a big challenge for countries all over the world as it requires adjustment of their development policies. This session will gather experts to discuss solutions for overcoming barriers that impede the development of digital economy. It will also address the main impacts of digitalization and technology on the current investment outlook, labor market, and how IPAs can utilize digitalization for determining potential projects and predict which companies are more likely to commit to an investment project.


  • Casella, B., & Formenti, L. (2018). FDI in the digital economy: A shift to asset-light international footprints. Transnational corporations, Vol:25, No:1. UNCTAD, Geneva.
  • Knight, C. (2018, April). Presentation: Emerging technologies and how IPAs can use them. WAIPA workshop at Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), Dubai.
  • UNCTAD. (2017). World Investment Report: Investment and the digital economy. Geneva.


Rationale for Panel 3: New types of investments

New type of investments, such as Venture Capital (VC), Corporate Venture Capital (CVC), Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF), family offices, and impact investments, are offering new opportunities for countries to boost their development. For example, concepts of financing emerging companies with high growth potential, i.e. startups, known as VC or CVC investments are at record levels despite negative global FDI trends. Global analysis of venture funding by KPMG revels continues six-year straight growth of VC reaching $254 billion in 2018. Additionally, corporate participation in VC deals, i.e. CVC, reached an all-time high, where corporations participated in 20% of all VC deals in 2018.

Furthermore, although SWF are growing less rapidly than before they are still playing important role in global capital markets. Another emerging source of investments are family offices. According to the EY’ sources, there are more than 10,000 single family offices worldwide. Also, more and more investors are focusing on impact investments. These types of investments are following ethical principles and creating positive social impact.

This panel will gather experts to discuss what are the main pros and cons of these new types of investments? How governments can create fertile environment for creation of startups and utilize opportunities that VC investing is offering? How startups can go about capturing the attention of CV and CVC investors? Which key factors are driving SWF and family offices to invest? What is the future of impact investments?


  • KPMG. (2019). KPMG Venture Pulse Q4 2018: Global analysis of venture funding.
  • Dressler, A. (2019, February). Presentation: FDI drivers. WAIPA “Innovation in Investment Attraction” training, Istanbul.
  • East, D. (2018, January). Presentation: Global FDI trends. WAIPA “FDI Essentials” training, Istanbul.
  • Elliot, H., & Alexander, P. How do Sovereign Wealth Funds invest?. SSGA, Boston.
  • EY. (2016). EY Family Office Guide.




Key Media Partner


7 October 2019, Monday




  • 09:00 – 09:30 Registration


  • 09:30 – 12:30 Workshop

    “The Future of FDI and the role of IPAs”
    This workshop will address how IPAs can position themselves to react and respond to upcoming trends. International organizations will give insights in their daily work and how IPAs can achieve the positive outcomes expected from FDI projects. Moreover, they will reflect on how they see the future of FDI and the role of IPAs.

(Location: Don Giovanni in Opera Ballroom)


  • 09:30 – 12:30 Steering Committee Meeting**                           

(Location: Paderewski)


  • 12:30 – 14:00 Luncheon

(Location: Pre-Function Area)


  • 14:00 – 17:30 WAIPA General Assembly Meeting***

(Location: Don Giovanni in Opera Ballroom)


  • Opening Call and Chairmanship
  • Audited Financial Statements 2018-2019
  • Annual Report of WAIPA Activities 2018-2019
  • Elections (Moderator Jean-Louis Collart – WAIPA Legal Advisor)


*/***) Participation in the Workshop and General Assembly is restricted to WAIPA Members


**) Participation in the Steering Committee Meeting is restricted to WAIPA Regional Directors


  • 19:30 – 21:00 Gala Dinner                          


Location: Opera Ballroom

Dress Code: Business Attire




8 October 2019, Tuesday




(Location: Opera Ballroom)


  • 08:00 – 09:00 Registration


  • 09:00 – 10:30 Conference Opening


    President of WAIPA

    High ranking officials from the Polish Government (tbc)

    Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat at the World Trade Organization

    Syed Husain Quadri, Manager of Country Strategy and Market Integration, Islamic Development Bank

    Grzegorz Zielinski, Regional Head of Central Europe, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)


  • 10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break


  • 11:00 – 12:30 First Plenary Session “Rebounding the slide of FDI: Key factors, policy concerns and opportunities.”

    Moderator: Courtney Fingar, Editor in Chief, fDi Magazine


    • Robin Roberts Krieger, Past Chair, Fellow Member and Honorary Life Member, International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
    • Vic van Vuuren, Director of the Enterprise Department, ILO
    • Mike Pfister, Senior Advisor, Sustainable Investment, OECD
    • Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Director, Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation, UNIDO
    • Armando Heilbron, Investment Promotion Workstream Leader, World Bank Group
  • 12:30 – 14:00 Luncheon(Location: Pre-Function Area)


  • 14:00 – 15:30 Second Plenary Session “FDI in the digitalized world”

    Moderator: Andreas Dressler, Managing Director, FDI Center


    • Darius Kurek, Senior Officer, Trade Strategy and Competitiveness, ITC
    • Wissam Kadi, Global Director, SAP Next-Gen Labs
    • Krzysztof Senger, Executive Vice President, PAIH
    • Stan Just, Board Member, European Game Developers Federation & Board Member, Polish Games Association


  • 15:30 – 15:45 Coffee Break


  • 15:45 – 17:15 Third Plenary Session “New Types of Investments”

    Moderator: Henry Loewendahl, Group CEO, WAVTEQ


    • David East, Director, Moody’s Analytics, Bureau van Dijk
    • Gamze Cizreli, CEO, Big Chefs
    • Paweł Borys, CEO, Polish Development Fund
    • Borys Musielak, Partner, SMOK Ventures


  • 17:15 – 17:30 Closing Remarks


  • Bostjan Skalar, Executive Director, WAIPA
Leadership and Advocacy Training
9-10 October 2019, the FDI Excellence Series: Leadership and Advocacy Training in collaboration with Andreas Dressler.

Please click here in order to see the details about the Leadership and Advocacy Training


Learn about the speakers of the #WIC19 conference.
After completing a law degree Victor started his working career at the South African Department of Justice as a public prosecutor and magistrate.  Thereafter he moved into the private sector as a corporate legal advisor and human resources director at executive level in large corporates. Victor later helped establish a unified South African business federation,...
Paweł Borys – President of the Management Board of The Polish Development Fund Paweł Borys is a leading Polish manager with long term experience in the capital market, banking and economic policy. He serves as the President of the Management Board of the Polish Development Fund with over €17bn in assets and close to €4bn...
Grzegorz Zieliński, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Regional Director, Head of Central Europe and the Baltics. He heads the Bank’s Resident Office in Warsaw and oversees all operations of EBRD in Central Europe and the Baltic States. Mr Zieliński joined EBRD in 1998, from Ernst & Young, and became a banker in the Power,...
Mr. Syed Husain Quadri is a global development practitioner, currently heading the Division responsible for the development of Country Strategies of the 57-Member Countries of the largest development organization of the OIC region, the AAA-rated Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB). In addition, he is the focal point for the provision of advisory services and technical...
Robin Roberts Krieger is the owner of RRK Resources, a strategic business development firm that specializes in organizational development, strategic thinking and economic development. Clients include Oklahoma City University School of Law and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Prior, she was Vice President of Business & Industry Training and Economic Development for Oklahoma...
Executive Producer at Spokko / Board Member of PGA and EGDF Warsaw, Masovian District, Poland Summary Passionate gamer working as an Executive Producer for Spokko (aCD PROJEKT company) and a Board Member of the Polish GamesAssociation and European Game Developers Federation.I graduated in Psychology from Jagiellonian University and ExecutiveMBA from UQAM/WSE. Since 2010 I worked...
Entrepreneur turned investor. Co-founder and managing Partner atSMOK Ventures – seed stage VC fund investing up to €1M Warsaw, Masovian District, Poland Summary Engineer turned Entrepreneur turned Investor. Geek. Film buff.Basketball fan. I’m a founder and partner at SMOK Ventures where we fund earlystage startup founders (checks from €50k to €2M) based in Polandbut with...
Mike Pfister is a Senior Advisor at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where he leads regional investment policy and promotion programmes. His professional career spans from the German Development Institute, through private sector consulting groups, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. More recently, Mike was the Head of Programmes...
Wissam Kadi is a UN SDG advocate with a proven track record of activating global ecosystems through high-impact initiatives involving industry, government, international organizations, and academia. He is known for his powerful drive for accelerating impact through collaboration and co-creation with purpose-driven partners. Wissam is currently leading several sustainability, youth, and diversity & inclusion initiatives...
Krzysztof Senger has over 12 years of experience in international business, as well as in investment finance and project management. He studied International Business at the Poznan University of Economics and acquired a doctoral degree at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, specialising in issues relating to economy and development policy. When working in consulting...
Courtney Fingar is the editor-in-chief of fDi Magazine, a specialist publication from the Financial Times, and the head of content for its associated data division, fDi Intelligence. In her role she oversees all elements of editorial production for the bimonthly magazine and its website, as well as editorial outputs for fDi Intelligence. She is also...
  Highly accomplished, dynamic and experienced cross-border investment professional, with over 18 years’ experience gained in the industry working with large multinationals, leading consultants, multilateral organisations, government investment promotion agencies and academic institutions globally. Currently, David is the Director, Product Strategy for the Tax/Transfer Pricing, FDI & Economic verticals at Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s...
Before becoming the director of Trade, Investment and Innovation Department at UNIDO, Dr. Calzadilla was the Director of Trade Capacity Building Branch at UNIDO as well as a Senior Quality and Standards expert. He also served as a former UNIDO Deputy Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations at UNIDO office in Geneva....
She graduated from Middle East Technical University. After she experienced 3 years corporate life in a company that was in Defence Industry, she could not resist her entreprenurial spirit. Between 1993-2005, she created CAFEMİZ, KUKİ, QUICK CHINA in different concepts in Ankara. In 2007, she left back all these brands and without equity, she created...
Leader for Investment Promotion at the World Bank Group. Global executive with 33-yrs experience in international business, investment promotion and private sector development with development organizations, private sector associations, governments, multinationals, and SMEs. His experience spans from the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, to Eastern Europe and Africa, and now Asia. Within the...
With 20 years of experience in international trade and development, Dariusz Kurek is an expert in multi-sector and multi-dimensional export competitiveness strategy, with professional background in trade facilitation, trade policy and diplomacy, as well as development assistance. Dariusz KUREK joined the International Trade Centre (ITC) as Senior Officer in Trade Strategy and Competitiveness in 2011....
Andreas Dressler has been active in foreign direct investment (FDI) for over 20 years. He is the managing director of FDI Center, an advisory company that works with countries, regions, cities, industrial parks and special economic zones to implement investment promotion strategies and attract new investment. He is also the founder of Location Decisions, a...
Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari has been serving the Executive Secretariat for the EIF at the WTO as its Executive Director since October 2013. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Director of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment, a Kathmandu-based regional think-tank. Previously he served, among others, as a Senior Adviser to the National Planning...
Conference Venue
WIC19 will be held in InterContinental Warsaw in Warsaw, Poland.
Hotel and Visa Information

Participants are responsible of their own travel arrangements. Please contact your local Polish Embassy or Consulate to obtain a visa.

To book accommodation at the venue hotel InterContinental Warsaw, you may use special code to receive discounted prices.

Password: „WIC in Poland” or  „World Investment Conference in Poland”

Please register via an email or phone:
Email address: wrs.reservation@ihg.com
Tel. + 48 22 328 88 60