Government-Investor Network Benefits

The development community has recognized the pivotal importance of creating business-enabling environments, with massive investments in assessments and technical assistance. The creation of the FfD Tool “Government-Investor Networks” is aimed at providing a simple tool for governments that want to translate their political commitment into action, by providing them with a concrete mechanism using communication technologies that enhances their capacity to cost-effectively implement their objective of creating a business-enabling environment.

How the GIN Works
The GIN is an intranet subscription service managed by the government’s designated agency for improving the business environment. In many cases, this is the Investment Promotion Agency, with the Investor After Care function responsible for dealing with issues encountered by existing investors.

The GIN gives the government a practical tool that increases its ability to be effective in improving the business environment. Using the GIN as a cost-effective communication platform between public and private sector members, the designated government agency has increased capacity to:

1) Receive open input from existing investors and business organizations on investment issues and possible solutions;
2) Achieve effective intragovernmental coordination across the full range of government agencies that is required to improve the business-enabling environment;
3) Consult openly on draft regulations, laws, policies, and programs; and
4) Share important information between the official and private sectors.

The GIN serves as a catalytic mechanism creating a new public-private community focused on a critical deliverable: creating the business-enabling environment needed by both the government and the private sector for shared success.

Benefits
As recognized at the UN World Summit on the Information Society, the GIN is the only ICT tool available to governments aimed at increasing capacity for private sector consultation and intragovernmental coordination, a critical component of business-enabling environments. The GIN has the potential for huge development impact, using the catalytic power of modern day communication technologies for advancing public-private sector collaboration and results:

  • Creation of Public-Private Networks – Just as other on-line communities have been formed, the GIN creates a space for forging new relationships and interest groups across the public and private sectors aimed at the specific objective of improving the business-enabling environment. This facilitates the emergence of new relationships and communities (public-private, public-public, and private-private), improving the potential for public-private partnerships, intragovernmental coordination, and private sector cohesiveness.
  • Transparency & Governance– The power of transparency, exposing issues openly and constructively, has been proven time and time again. The GIN in effect enable all GIN Members from both the public and private sectors to express for candid viewpoints and suggestions, creating the baseline potential for group response and action.

  • Government Cost-Effectiveness & Performance Results – The utility of the Internet for reducing communication costs has been evidenced. The GIN allows governments to have access to a customized application that they can manage and custom tailor based on their national development objectives. Each GIN is managed according to the government’s internal structure, and integrated into the government’s own decision-making processes to enhance performance. In addition, a private sector application, the “Ticket System,” provides a back-office application for the government to track private sector issues and issue “Performance Reports” for senior government officials.
  • Donor Effectiveness – The Paris Declaration underscores the importance of increasing donor effectiveness. The GIN enables governments to invite donors to their GINs, so they can be first-hand observers of how the government is working with the private sector to improve the business environment. Further, governments and donors can use the GIN to form “Donor Mesas” in support of the government, contributing to the specific activities that are needed to improve the business environment.
Comparison with other business-enabling services
The other services that have been developed for improving business environment are extensive and effective in many areas, such as technical assistance (such as the many programs of the development banks focussed on reform) and reports (such as the World Bank “Doing Business Report,” UNCTAD’s Investment Guides, UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Reviews, the U.S. State Department’s Investment Climate Statements, etc). The GIN is the only service that is focused on using intranet communication technologies to improve public-private communication, intergovernmental coordination and effectiveness, and private sector cohesiveness.

Specific GIN differences compared with other services include:

  • Cost and Scalability - Since the communication platform is standard, operating as a subscription service with local administrative capacities, the GIN Service can be used for virtually no cost by as many governments as want it.
  • Ownership - Governments own the GIN, as managers that determine its focus and members, they can adapt the Tool to meet their own national development priorities, structures, and processes.
  • Technical Assistance - Governments can organize their own resources and donors around the GIN to focus on how to improve the business environment.

The GIN can therefore be integrated as an ICT tool into the other business-enabling services being provided by the development community.