Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Consultant (Identify Digital tools to Attract Foreign Direct Investment (Fdi) and Assess Their Practical Application to The Lac Region)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Job Description

    FDI contributes to economic growth in its destination location not only through not only through greater availability of foreign currency but also by means of improvements in productivity, creation of additional capital investment, direct jobs and exports, serving as a catalyst for productive linkages with local SMEs, and generating transfer of technology and knowledge. The evidence indicates that each dollar invested in investment attraction programs can generate up to US $187 in the receiving economy, depending on the depth of the intervention in the institution. Additionally, for every US$1 in FDI attracted, US$1 can be generated in national investment and US$2 in additional exports. Furthermore, each job generated by FDI can contribute to the creation of 1-2 local jobs. Countries, especially developing countries, seek to attract “quality” FDI by focusing on the positive effects it can generate, and trying to minimize negative impacts on the economy. FDI understood in this way can be an important means of reducing technological and productive gaps with developed countries and achieving progress on the path towards economic and social development in the country. FDI has made a remarkable contribution to the economic growth of most of the countries of the Latin American and Caribbean Region (LAC) in recent years. Net FDI capital inflows as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased worldwide from 0.5% in 1970 to 2.4% in 2017 and grew from 0.7% in 1975 to more than 3% in 2017 in the LAC region. But FDI in the Region is closely linked and is very vulnerable changes in competitiveness, that is, to the ability to offer conditions for companies to invest, develop and grow in the destination economy. There has been increasing competition between locations to attract FDI. Global flows fell 18% in between 2017 and 2018, from US$1.5 trillion to US$1.3 trillion. In the case of LAC, FDI decreased 6% in 2018 to $ 147 billion, and the employment generated decreased 23%, while globally it decreased only 5% in 2017. Classic new investment (Greenfield) projects have declined, while new forms of investment not considered in agencies' traditional mandates are on the rise. At the same time, the number of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in the world grew at a national, sub-national and local levels, contributing to increasingly fierce competition to attract new global projects in a scenario where there fewer and fewer new projects. Experience confirms that those IPAs that invest in new tools and innovative programs (e.g. new ways to get new qualified prospects), staff training, promotion and facilitation, can better position the territories they promote and attract the attention of investors. In this globally competitive environment, leading agencies are increasingly innovating their services to anticipate the needs and plans of companies, who demand access to value-added information, personalized services, reduced bureaucracy and online procedures to facilitate the establishment process. All these activities contribute to (i) improving the business climate and (ii) attracting investment and reinvestment. In the age of digital transformation, IPAs – mainly in the United States, Europe and Asia – are incorporating 4.0 technology in their services, although later than in other sectors. This trend is estimated to accelerate due to restrictions on movement and physical contact worldwide caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19). IPAs are implementing, among other tools: (i) digital single windows for investment to simplify and streamline the registration and operational processes and processes of companies that incorporate blockchain; (ii) platforms with access to geographic information systems (GIS) combined with databases of investment / expansion projects of foreign companies; (iii) proptech applications as augmented reality and virtual reality tools incorporating the use of glasses, and drones that economize the production of location promotion videos; (iv) artificial intelligence systems, including predictive analysis to identify patterns and trends of investors and offer personalized information in a timely manner; and (v) data-driven and open data solutions, so that investors can make strategic decisions based on data analysis and interpretation, as digital marketing tools. But in general, LAC IPAs are not taking advantage of new technologies to attract and retain FDI, as is happening with US, European and Asian agencies. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) continually supports LAC IPAs through technical cooperation, loans and technical support in areas such as institutional strengthening, promotion tools, facilitation and aftercare, among others. In order to maintain market leadership, the IDB constantly reviews and renews the tools and resources that IPAs use to ensure their competitive advantage, from the point of view of service, customer experience, and the value chain, in the framework of digital transformation and the industrial revolution 4.0. Even through there is a disparate level of development among the countries of the region in terms of single investment windows and the use of other digital tools for investment promotion, there is a common objective, which is the evolution towards digital government that contributes to the reduction of the bureaucracy, improving competitiveness and the business climate, and increasing inflows of higher quality FDI. Along these lines, the IDB is partnering with the Costa Rican Coalition for Development Initiatives (CINDE), Costa Rica's IPA responsible for promoting, managing and supporting the establishment of multinational companies in the country. CINDE is considered the most innovative IPA in the region by world rankings and has been ranked as the #1 institution in the world in attracting foreign direct investment and ranks second as a "best in class" agency. It is still too early to have a full understanding of how FDI will be affected from the COVID-19 crisis, but it is likely to hasten the current shift towards digitalization in all spheres of activity. What experts are predicting and foreign companies confirming is that digitalization is a must for Investment Promotion Agencies. The trend towards more virtual site selection will accelerate, and in-person attendance at fairs, exhibitions and conferences will cease in the short-term, and a greater emphasis on digital/virtual promotion is possible in the longer term. Under these new circumstances, the website becomes one of the most powerful marketing tool to promote a location for an IPA, social media and video conferencing can be used to engage with companies, new technologies like virtual reality allow for virtual site visits, and offering easy online company registration can make the difference in the selection decision. The objective of this consultancy is to identify and analyze in detail the most innovative digital tools and platforms currently in use worldwide by investment promotion agencies, analyze their effectiveness, compare results, costs, applied technology, model of development, sustainability/updates, its suitability for LAC and propose recommendations for its application to the IPAs of the LAC region. The team: At the Trade and Investment Division of the Integration and Trade Sector, we support the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in implementing innovative solutions to move towards a region that is more productive, open, connected with the world. Our projects and applied Research contribute to three kinds of trade costs: logistics costs, Information costs, and regulatory costs. The thematic areas of our interventions are trade facilitation, trade promotion and investment attraction, and support to the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements. Additionally, we provide technical support to regional integration initiatives and blocs. The sector is also responsible for producing and disseminating research on the most recent trade trends and the regional and global levels, thus fueling the region's public policy agenda on integration and trade. We also have the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, which seeks to create and disseminate knowledge and technologies applied to our thematic areas in the borrowing member countries, identifying opportunities for Bank operational interventions. Additionally, we lead business integration initiatives such as ConnectAmericas, the first online network for the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises, and the Americas Business Dialogue (ABD), a platform for high-level public-private dialogue to advance the region’s development agenda. The Sector also organizes a series of business surveys on trade and investment. What you’ll do: 1. Identify and list the most representative innovative digital 4.0 tools, solutions and platforms currently in use worldwide, the IPAs that are using them, and propose (based on trend arguments, regional suitability, and level of sophistication of the agencies in LAC, needs, etc.) which potential applicability for LAC IPAs based on their level of development.   2. Following review and agreement by the IDB and CINDE on the list in the previous point and selection of the tools to be investigated, prepare a detailed and practical report/technical note. The consultant will contact the IPAs by phone or using internet to obtain the information. This report will include: identification and listing of all the most innovative digital 4.0 tools, solutions and platforms currently in use worldwide, the IPAs that are using them, and propose (based on trend arguments, regional suitability, needs, etc.) which tools could have possible application in the LAC IPAs. a) List of tools / platforms 4.0, and which IPAs use them; b) For each tool, identify service providers at the international and/or local level, including costs, status (whether it is operational or not), start date of use of the tool, whether impact evaluation has been carried out, results achieved to date and the collaboration model of the service provider with each beneficiary IPA (see format in Annex I); c) Based on the interviews held with the IPAs, and the knowledge of the tools, make initial conclusions analyzing the efficiency of said solutions for the IPAs that have used / are using them; d) Type of technology applied, development model and pre-conditions (scale, data, capacities) necessary for the successful application of the identified technologies; e) Types of data and the data collection systems required for the optimal use of these tools; and f) Identify the institutional capacities necessary to design, maintain, update and ensure sustainability of these tools.   3. Recommendations for the IPAs of the region whether to apply these tools and proposed suggestions/conclusions.   4. Based on the research carried out and based on the CINDE structure (as a pilot IPA), propose an action plan that includes:   a) the changes and actions that the promotion and aftercare department could carry out to apply said tools; b) the suitable knowledge, experience, skills and capacity of the staff in the promotion and aftercare department in order to implement the said tools and; c) the budget necessary to carry out these changes. 5. Disseminate the results achieved and participate as a speaker in two training webinars to transfer the information to the Region's IPAs. CAIPA and the Ibero Network are envisaged as partnersin these webinars. 6. Suggest ideas and elaborate an specific proposal for the IDB to develop a practical social media toolkit ready to be customized for the LAC IPAs in LAC. The final purpose of the toolkit is they can understan how to use the social media to engage with companies and institutions virtually, including recommendations for promotion, facilitation, retention and institutional relations; types (linkedin, facebook, twitter, wechat, etc) and which to use for different purposes, markets and users. 7. Work remotely and in close collaboration with the IDB team and the CINDE team. To do this, a virtual meeting with CINDE will be organized, where you will learn about the organization in detail, its needs, current platforms, databases and personnel. CINDE will provide organization information via the cloud.   8. Drill down on certain information and validate drafts, when necessary, through videoconferences. 9. Provide all deliverables in English. Deliverables: · Deliverable 1. List of the most innovative digital tools and platforms currently in use worldwide and an justified proposal of which to research for LAC (previous section point 1). · Deliverable 2. Draft technical note covering the points mentioned in the previous section (point 2). · Deliverable 3. Recommendations report according to point 3 of the previous section. · Deliverable 4. Proposed action plan (point 4). · Deliverable 5. Report on participation in two webinars (point 5) and proposal for a social media toolkit (point 6) Deliverables Submission deadline Deliverable 1 Within 10 calendar days from the start of contract execution Deliverable 2 Within 20 calendar days from the start of contract execution Deliverable 3 Within 35 calendar days from the start of contract execution Deliverable 4 Within 45 calendar days from the start of contract execution Deliverable 5 Within 55 calendar days from the start of contract execution Payment timeline: Payment terms will be based on project milestones or deliverables. The Bank wishes to receive the most competitive cost proposal for the services described herein and no other additional expense will be included.
  1. Delivery and approval of deliverable 1

  1. Delivery and approval of deliverables 2 and 3

  1. Delivery and approval of deliverables 4 and 5

30% What you’ll need:
  • Citizenship: You are a citizen of one of our 48-member countries.

  • Consanguinity: You have no family members (up to fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity, including spouse) working at the IDB Group.

  • Education: Master's degree in economics, international relations, social sciences, engineering, or related subjects.

  • Experience: At least 5 years of international operational experience in investment working in investment promotion agencies, advising governments on FDI on best IPA practices. Proficiency with related digital technology platforms and social media.

  • Languages: Fluency in Spanish and English.

Core and Technical Competencies: Knowledge and previous work in the countries of the LAC region. Network of contacts in sophisticated IPAs that are using innovative tools (Example: Estonia, Copenhagen, Florida, Finland, Singapore, Dubai, UK, etc.). Excellent oral and written presentation skills. Excellent ability to work independently and in teams. Previous work experience in multicultural and international environments, in general, and in international organizations, in particular. Previous work experience with government agencies and the private sector.   Opportunity Summary:  
  • Type of contract and modality: Products and External Services (PEC)

  • Length of contract: 4 months.

  • Starting date: From the signature of the contract.

  • Location: Consultant's country of residence. According to the work plan, no trips are planned.

  • Responsible person: The activities of this consultancy will be coordinated by: Ana Arias Urones, Senior Specialist in Trade and Investment (INT/TIN).

  • Requirements: You must be a citizen of one of the IDB’s 48 member countries and have no family members currently working at the IDB Group.

  Our culture: Our people are committed and passionate about improving lives in Latin-America and the Caribbean, and they get to do what they love in a diverse, collaborative and stimulating work environment. We are the first Latin American and Caribbean development institution to be awarded the EDGE certification, recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality. As an employee you can be part of internal resource groups that connect our diverse community around common interests. We encourage women, afro-descendants, people of indigenous origins, and persons with disabilities to apply. About us: At the IDB, we’re committed to improving lives. Since 1959, we’ve been a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We do more than lending though. We partner with our 48-member countries to provide Latin America and the Caribbean with cutting-edge research about relevant development issues, policy advice to inform their decisions, and technical assistance to improve on the planning and execution of projects. For this, we need people who not only have the right skills, but also are passionate about improving lives. Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications. Additional Information

Apply Now