New Delhi: The United Nations (UNCTAD) has declared ‘Invest India’ as winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award. The award ceremony took place Monday at UNCTAD Headquarters in Geneva.

The Award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements of the world’s best-practice investment promotion agencies. The evaluation was based on UNCTAD’s assessment of work undertaken by 180 national investment promotion agencies across the world.

The Covid-19 pandemic had generated important challenges for investment promotion agencies (IPAs), forcing them to shift focus from routine investment promotion and facilitation towards crisis management, notification of government emergency and economic relief measures, provision of crisis support services, and contribution to national Covid-19 business response efforts.

All this was being done while agencies had closed offices, moved functions online and asked staff to work from home. In March 2020, UNCTAD constituted a team to monitor IPAs response to the pandemic. UNCTAD reported best practices from investment promotion agencies in the IPA Observer publications in April 2020 and July 2020. IPAs response to the pandemic became the basis for the evaluation of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award.

UNCTAD highlighted good practices followed by ‘Invest India’ such as the Business Immunity PlatformExclusive Investment Forum webinar series, its social media engagement and focus COVID response teams (such as business reconstruction, stakeholder outreach and supplier outreach) created as a response to the pandemic in its publications. Invest India has also shared long-term strategies and practices being followed for investment promotion, facilitation and retention at UNCTAD’s high-level brainstorming sessions.

This United Nations Investment Promotion Award is the most coveted award for investment promotion agencies. UNCTAD is the central agency which monitors performance of investment promotion agencies and identifies global best practices. Germany, S. Korea, Singapore have been some of the past winners of the award.

Invest India MD & CEO Deepak Bagla said, “The award is testament to the prime minister’s vision of making India a preferred investment destination with a focus on both Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. It bears testimony to his focus on bringing excellence within the government. This award also recognizes the Indian government’s effective management of the Covid pandemic”.