Osinbajo urges attractive investment regime for higher growth

Yemi Osinbajo

 Victor Uzoho

Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said that consciously building an attractive investment regime is the only way to achieve the high level of growth needed to ensure good-paying jobs and better opportunities, and meet the goal of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

According to Osinbajo, the reform and updating of international investment agreements remain central to the country’s efforts, as they provide the basis for the promotion and protection of foreign investments.

Speaking at the virtual High-Level Preparatory Launch Event for the 14th Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, the Vice President noted that strategies must take the rapidly changing global environment into account, and promote the right type and quality of investment to tackle the challenges and attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Osinbajo maintained that the platform for negotiation is especially important for developing countries where investment agreements have sometimes not been carefully negotiated; making some countries pay a heavy price.

He said: “Investment has always been integral and vital to and for sustainable development. What may define investments now is that we are in a rapidly changing global environment, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, as we also struggle to adapt to climate change, and grapple with the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“To these ends, we’ve been progressively improving the business environment by enhancing business entry; making it easier to register businesses, reducing the cost of doing business, and ensuring that the profit expectations of investors can be met.

“Nigeria is similarly committed to a rich based and predictable investment climate that is made up of transparent, non-discriminatory and business-friendly regulations supported by independent and a reliable judicial system. We are confident that these reforms will enhance the country’s business climate to attract, retain and expand responsible, inclusive, balanced and sustainable investments.

“As an emerging economy that is both capital importing and capital-exporting, Nigeria is excited to host the 14th annual forum as a testament to its commitment to the ongoing global, regional, bilateral and national processes, aimed at ensuring that the economic benefits of investments policymaking are realised by both investors and host states alike.”

We are confident that these reforms will enhance the country’s business climate to attract, retain and expand responsible, inclusive, balanced and sustainable investments.

Also speaking, Executive Director, International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD) Europe; and Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, said for two decades, the investment treaty regime and investor-state arbitration have developed in parallel with and sometimes in contradictions to national and regional policies and frameworks.

Stressing the importance of reintroducing coherence with international instruments and domestic frameworks, she said: “In Abuja, we will examine the complex issues of coherence between investment treaties and investor-state contracts on one hand, and the national as well as regional foreign direct investment policies and laws on the other hand.

“It is my firm belief that with your help, the 14th annual Forum in 2022 will lead to concrete outcomes and help us move into an international regime that ensures that investments contribute to national and global sustainable development objectives that allow our communities to thrive.”

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