Given the current critical state of affairs caused by the global pandemic, there is a need for concerted joint efforts to address the debilitating effects of COVID19, especially in the area of food security. Nowadays global foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2020 are already extremely decreased by 42% from $1.5 trln in 2019 to the estimated $859 bln, according to UNCTAD. Greenfield project announcements in 2020 are 35% lower than in 2019, so markets are not optimistic for investments in industrial sectors in 2021.
In this regard, IOFS actively works on the Program “National food sectors development in cooperation with state investment agencies” that was adopted by the IOFS Third General Assembly in December 2020. This program encourages intra-OIC investments and trade to build up value chains of domestic food processing and develop food clusters, which are suffering a lot these days.
We all know, an important role of Investment Promotion Agencies in attracting investment, there are needs closely to work with IOFS enabling the creation of these additional linkages as well as steering and assisting IPAs to reach their full capacity and be the global reference point for FDI.
IOFS as a multilateral institution would encourage intra-OIC cross-border investments in agri-food projects via G2G level and through International IFPA which is 100% subsidiary and B2B arm of IOFS to strengthen the food industry in the OIC region. Herewith, International IFPA (as the parent program operator) would arrange the needed match-making process between project owners and investors and activate investment flows between OIC member countries.
In addition, program managers of IOFS and international IFPA would cooperate only with state investment agencies. It means they are fully supported by local government and their pipelines consist of projects well verified, as well as, bankable (even audited by Big4). Moreover, managers of IOFS Group are actively working on creating a special OIC-wise Database of institutional investors and business partners on the basis of the already developed IOFS Food Balance Database. This digital platform will enable a common intra-OIC FDI vision through operating accurate data and providing an objective approach by ranking (white vs. black list) of registered and non-registered agri-food sector companies.
IOFS Secretariat jointly with International IFPA continues to promote cross-border trade and investments in basic agricultural and industrial sectors with a special focus on establishing and synergizing food clusters in OIC/IOFS member countries via OIC institutions as IsDB Group and ICDT, quasi-government entities as IPA’s and ECAs, as well as, with international associations. World-widely recognized Islamic financial instruments based on principles of the real economy, partnership and inclusivity would be one of the driving forces of such result-oriented developments.
We invite Investment Promotion Agencies, Institutional Investors, and OIC specialized institutions, Ministries, and governmental bodies of OIC Member Countries to join the IOFS program “National food sectors development in cooperation with state investment agencies”.