Investment: The right framework

OECD Observer

Aly Song/Reuters

Investment has been hit hard by the crisis, yet is vital for a sustainable recovery and future well-being. In 2008-14 private investment ran at some 25% below pre-crisis forecasts. From infrastructure and green energy to improving education and health care, all countries depend on investment in physical and human capital.

This is true of development policies too, with wide infrastructure gaps continuing to affect areas such as transport, renewable energy and skills in most countries, and more private and institutional investment will have to be mobilised to plug them.

Over $1 trillion flowed into developing countries through foreign direct investment in 2012-13. But not all regions have gained as much as they should: Africa’s share of world trade in value added was just 2%, and raising this number is less a question of financial resources–the cash reserves of corporations and the long-term investors such as sovereign wealth funds and pension funds are ample–than of the reforms needed to attract them: that means reducing trade costs, developing regional markets, involving global value chains, stopping corruption and so on.

The OECD’s Policy Framework for Investment helps policymakers devise effective reforms. Used by some 30 emerging and developing economies since its initial launch in 2006, the aim is to help policymakers devise programmes capable of attracting investment funds, and to help them ensure that the investment goes where it is needed. The framework connects a dozen or so policy areas, such as promotion and facilitation; competition; trade; taxation; corporate governance; and human resources. An update in June 2015 has sharpened the focus on infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises and global value chains, and incorporates gender issues and green growth.

Whether policymakers want to boost investment in low-carbon activities, engage in long-term investment in infrastructure, or strengthen due diligence in agriculture, the OECD Policy Framework on Investment offers support.

Governments, investment agencies, development banks and private enterprises in countries from Botswana, Burkina Faso and Zambia to China, Peru and Myanmar have all used the framework as a global reference for investment policy reforms.

For them and the OECD, the Policy Framework for Investment is a valuable tool for development co-operation; for facilitating coherence at all levels of government for better policy formulation and implementation; for self-evaluation, peer reviews, knowledge and experience sharing, including for multilateral discussions on investment; and as a source of international good practices.


OECD (2015), “Recommendation of the Council on the Policy Framework For Investment”, declassified document, 4 June, Reference code C/MIN(2015)6/FINAL

OECD (2015), “Using the PFI: From Advice to Action”, information brochure

For these papers and more background, see

©OECD Observer July 2015

Economic data


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • In the run-up to the annual OECD Eurasia Week in Almaty, Kazakhstan 23-25 October, The Astana Times has run an article by Secretary-General Gurría. He urges Eurasia countries* to stay the course on openness and international integration which has brought prosperity but also disillusionment and inequality. He argues that economic policy can be shaped for greater inclusiveness, and that Eurasia’s continued participation in multilateral mechanisms strengthens fairness and better practices in the global business eco-system. The OECD is working with this region to make trade easier and diversify economic activity. It is also encouraging Eurasia to focus on human capital and innovation by boosting people’s learning and improving infrastructure and connectivity for better productivity and people’s well-being. *"Eurasia" here refers to the countries participating in the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
  • When someone asks me to describe an ideal girl, in my head, she is a person who is physically and mentally independent, brave to speak her mind, treated with respect just like she treats others, and inspiring to herself and others. But I know that the reality is still so much different. By Alda, 18, on International Day of the Girl. Read more.
  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017