Even though it is a pilot, today the Portal is the world’s leading public one stop-shop web site, bringing together in one easy access location the most comprehensive investment-enabling information directly from host governments, official sector (multilateral and bilateral), the private sector and third parties on 160 developing countries. The Development Finance Portal has been successfully used to:
  • Enable Policy Maker Access to Information: For example, an African Minister of the Economy was unaware of a World Bank Competitiveness Report critical for his assessment of policy priorities; Investment Promotion Agencies in Africa and Latin America were unaware of success stories that had been published on their countries that could be instrumental in improving worldwide investor perceptions of their countries.
  • Promote Investor Access to Information: Companies need easy access to information for due diligence and strategic assessments. For example, financial services companies have used the Portal to access a wide range of analysis. Specifically, the Portal has been used by test users for assessing investments in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Uganda.
  • Disseminate Key Information: Success stories (nearly 300); investment roadmaps (1,400+), competitiveness assessments and surveys (5,000+); risk management evaluation and services (nearly 400), national development plans and incentives (4,000+) and much more! 

Sample Comparison with Google – More Accurate Results than a Search Engine!
Search engines are powerful tools to scour the Internet, and none is more powerful than Google. However, in order to find useful information, search engine users are required to think as creatively as possible to come up with terms that provide the most useful results, otherwise they are inundated with results and risk information overload.

For example, a quick Google search for Ghana Investment Roadmaps turned up 49,600 results, yet none of the top 10 results linked the user to a specific page telling users the steps needed to invest, nor did the results take users directly to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana’s investment promotion agency.  A quick look for Ghana>Investment Roadmaps on the Portal provides users with links to 27 targeted links, including 6 links to GIPC sites, among which links to “Investment Procedures” and “Setting Up a Business.”

Sample Comparisons with Other Investment Sites: The Development Finance Portal  - a Unique Tool
Given the recognized importance of enabling information, development agencies such as the World Bank have invested heavily in developing critical web sites with investment-enabling information. However, the focus of the most comprehensive web sites (MIGA’s PRI Center and FDI Net, Development Gateway) has been geared to specific topics and sources, rather than providing a one-stop clearinghouse of investor information. To illustrate with actual content comparisons, the Development Finance Portal as a global clearinghouse of investment-enabling information provided more results (even though it is still a pilot):
Multilateral Investment Gurantee Agency (MIGA) sites (Comparisons with MIGA PRI Center and as of August 7, 2008. Measured average results returned for 14 developing countries across the globe (Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East):
  • PRI Center “Country Analysis” Pages (which specialize in providing country assessments and surveys): The Portal consistently returned more results with on average 28 content item results recorded for a single country on the Development Finance Portal, as opposed to 9 for the PRI Center.
  • “Business Center: Investment Guide” Pages (which specialize in providing investment guide and related regulatory information): The Portal consistently had more content than the MIGA site, displaying on average 70 content items vs. 14 for MIGA
Development Gateway Community sites The Portal produced greater results for investment-enabling information added from January 1 - August 6, 2008; searches covered all developing countries:
  • FDI: 225 content items added to Portal vs. 3 content items to DG Communities;
  • Regulatory Environments: 488 content items added to Portal vs. 31 to DG Communities;
  • Competitiveness: 493 content items added to Portal vs. 14 to DG Communities;
  • Corporate and Social Responsibility: 176 content items added to Portal vs. 12 to DG Communities; and
  • Labor: 297 content items added to Portal vs. 20 to DG Communities.