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iGUIDES – An UNCTAD investments guide to Zambia

iGuides, designed by UNCTAD and the International Chamber of Commerce, provides investors online with up-to-date information on business costs, opportunities and conditions in developing countries. They are developed jointly with governments, and at their request.

Locally-available data, costs and prices:iGuides contains updated data on wages across different job categories, non-wage labour costs, termination indemnities, taxes, rent values, utility prices and transport costs. This data is comparable across countries and enables investors to build a basic business model prior to going further in their location decision-making.

Relevant rules and licensing requirements, timelines and useful contacts: iGuides explains which licenses are required, how long they take to get and who in government can facilitate the process or provide more information. iGuides also provide a realistic view on procedures such as customs clearance, obtaining work permits and repatriation of funds.

Experiences of established investors: Whether it’s on paying taxes, hiring labour or obtaining electricity, iGuides summarizes the experiences of established investors and provide case studies of their investment history. While UNCTAD canvasses the views of investors, governments get to explain how they are addressing investors’ concerns.

Easily updatable: Unlike sit-on-the-shelf publications, iGuides is web-based only. Any element can be easily updated at any time to reflect changes in legislation, infrastructure, costs or taxes.

Governments are trained in investment promotion: Governments, not donors, are responsible for researching, inputting and updating data based on information standards and training provided by UNCTAD and ICC. UNCTAD also organizes events for member governments to share experience and improve the product.

A platform based on experience: UNCTAD has been advising governments on promoting foreign investment for over 20 years. Its products include investment guides, FDI statistics, policy reviews, advice on investment agreements, the World Investment Report and the World Investment Forum.

Ian Richards, UNCTAD