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IAC launches Jo’burg push with Virtual Exhibit video

16 August 2002 – The International Chamber of Commerce’s Investment Advisory Council has launched its Earth Summit campaign with a video submission to the Virtual Exhibit.

The video, featuring ICC Secretary General Maria Livanos Cattaui, highlights the new range of business proposals to be put forward in Johannesburg to help increase foreign investment in least developed countries (LDCs).

The video has been submitted to the Virtual Exhibit for screening in Johannesburg and webcasting over the internet during the two weeks of the Summit.

It can be viewed now and can be viewed during the Summit on the Virtual Exhibit website.

IAC is a joint-venture between ICC and UNCTAD (United Nations Council on Trade and Development), formed last year to lend business expertise to the challenge of making LDCs more attractive to foreign direct investment.

At its last meeting in March in Monterrey, Mexico - presided over by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan - a group of company CEOs and the heads of state of several African nations decided on a series of concrete projects which would make their nations more attractive to foreign investors.

In Johannesburg, IAC leaders will again bring together leaders of least developed nations with company CEOs to discuss a new range of investment boosting projects.

Explaining IAC’s mission in her video statement, Mrs Cattaui says IAC was born of a recognition that official government aid would never be enough to kickstart the economies of least developed countries.

“At the outset, we need to recognise that business is not going to invest in any substantial way in least developed countries unless it makes good business sense to do so,” she says.

“What IAC seeks to do, then, is to find ways to overcome the impediments to investment in these countries and to offer solutions to those nations who want more foreign investment.”

Mrs Cattaui added: “Integral to this process is an acceptance by the governments of these countries of a need to put in place some pretty basic infrastructure – and here I am talking about such things as strong governance structures and stable legal systems.”

She further said that “investment begins at home” and that IAC would also seek to encourage investment in LDCs by loca l investors.

Click here to see the IAC “Virtual Exhibit” video presentation