Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators
The Annual Forum is the only global platform for government officials exclusively from developing and emerging economies to share experiences and lessons learned from investment negotiations.
The forum is more than just a meeting. It has evolved into a community of government officials determined to work towards systemic reform and to safeguard the best interests of their developing nations.
More than 140 officials from 70 countries and five regional organizations attended the 11th Annual Forum in Nairobi in February 2018. The forum gives participants an opportunity to discuss emerging issues, review recent legal developments in the field and engage in peer learning with fellow negotiators.
Forum participants remain engaged in the community through IISD's Investment Policy Network, regional meetings and peer-to-peer exchanges.
The goal of the Annual Forum is to ensure that developing countries are able to attract responsible investment that advances sustainable development while safeguarding their legitimate policy space.
111 developing countries have attended our Annual Forum since it was launched in 2007.
Co-organizers and partner organizations
In hosting the Annual Forums, IISD has partnered with various international and regional organizations, which have been regularly represented at the meetings:
- South Centre
- Commonwealth Secretariat
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)
- Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
- Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
- Southern African Development Community (SADC)
- Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) of the Pacific Islands Forum
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
Learn more about each forum
Each year, the Forum is co-hosted by a developing country government in rotation from Asia to Africa to Latin America:
- 12th Annual Forum – Cartagena, Colombia – 2019
- 8th Annual Forum – Montreux, Switzerland – 2014
"Before I encountered IISD... I didn’t know that a bilateral investment treaty is a double-edged sword that can benefit and harm at the same time, depending on how the articles are negotiated and formulated."
Read more of what Roslyn Ng'eno of Kenya says about the impact of the Annual Forum and IISD's advisory services in our 2016–2017 Annual Report.
"The forum has been an extremely useful platform for countries to share views. The approach that South Africa has taken with respect to upgrading and updating its investment protection regime—including with respect to termination—to a large extent has been validated by the exchanges we’ve had with other countries."
Watch what Xavier Carim of South Africa and other participants said about the value of the Annual Forum in this video.
South-South Principles on International Investment for Sustainable Development
At the 9th Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November 2015, negotiators and policy-makers from some 50 developing countries expressed their desire to develop a set of principles on investment from a developing country perspective, building on UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development. In response, a preliminary draft of a set of South-South Principles on International Investment for Sustainable Development was developed based on several consultation rounds. The draft was presented and discussed at the 10th Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November 2016. The current outcome of the ongoing consultation process can be found here.
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