Promoting Investment in Health Post-Pandemic: A Global Trend?

As a result of increased demand and policy focus post-pandemic, investment promotion agencies (IPAs) are promoting new investments in the health sector. At the same time, they continue to be important actors in efforts by governments across the world to fight the sanitary crisis and mitigate its economic effects.

All IPAs are promoting the health sector to some extent according to a recent survey conducted by UNCTAD of 53 IPAs. UNCTAD also monitored the online activities of 188 national agencies and found that 75% of agencies in developed countries and 42% in developing countries are promoting investment in health through virtual outreach and engagement.

There is significant disparity among IPAs in the quality and quantity of information provided online, possibly reflecting not only different priorities, but differences in resources and digital capacity between agencies, as well in their ability to adopt a strategic approach to investment promotion in health.

IPAs are promoting investment opportunities across a broad range of subsectors, with a particular focus on the manufacturing of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, as well as digital health and the production of personal protection equipment.

In addition to being a sector that can offer opportunities to investors, a quality and equitable healthcare system is an important cross-cutting determinant for economic development and investment. Governments are increasingly recognizing this, and it is being reflected across policies aimed at resilient recovery. As a result, investment promotion in health is likely to stay and become an increasing trend for IPAs globally.