Pacific Island investment promotion websites need tune up

22/09/2011

<p style="text-align: justify;">The World Bank Group’s Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking (GIPB) system periodically provides a comprehensive overview of global best practices in investment facilitation, evaluating the performance of 189 countries.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Working with experts across a range of disciplines, the World Bank Group has evolved a set of tools and benchmarks to help investment promotion agencies tune up their investment handling processes at all levels – from technology and human resources to organisational processes.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">According to GIPB surveys, online sources are among the most important influencers of corporate executives with respect to perceptions of business climate, while making investment decisions in any country.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Group’s next GIPB report is due early in 2012. But earlier reports indicate that while the websites of investment promotion organisations of the Pacific Islands are good in some respects, they fall behind best practice standards in others.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The GIPB rates investment promotion websites across four criteria critical to websites as a tool to attract global investors and help garner precious foreign direct investment – something that has been increasingly hard to come by in the present global investment climate.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">These four are content, promotional effectiveness, design and information architecture in order of priority (the last two have equal weightage). Pacific Island websites compare fairly well with design and information architecture best practice standards but fall short when it comes to content and promotional effectiveness.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">This clearly reveals that government ministries and departments charged with the operations of investment promotion agencies need to do much more to keep websites going with the right type of fresh and useful updated content as well as promote it both online and offline.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The study points to the fact that once websites are created, the responsible agency does not allocate financial and human resources to keep content fresh and engaging enough to entice prospective investors.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The World Bank Group this week held a three-day “training the trainer workshop” for Pacific Island investment promotion practitioners and consultants in Sydney to address these issues.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">As well as providing the participants with tools and course content to help tune up their own organisational systems and develop better human resource skills, the clear message to governments and funders of investment promotion agencies was the need for continuous resource allocation for promotional activity, particularly for websites and digital media.</p>
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<p style="text-align: justify;">Photo / Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo</p>