Attracting Foreign Direct Investments Through Augmented and Virtual Reality

August 9, 2021
  • Countries’ initiatives to promote themselves as attractive places to invest are often overlooked in innovation policy—but the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the value of innovative approaches to traditional FDI attraction strategies.
  • AR/VR’s ability to present information-rich, immersive spaces and reduce the barriers of physical distance makes the technology a promising tool for FDI attraction by facilitating information-sharing and supplementing in-person interactions.
  • Immersive technologies can enhance key investment promotion agency (IPA) activities—image-building, investment generation, investment facilitation and retention, and policy advocacy—as well as broader public sector innovation.
  • FDI-oriented solutions can serve as a starting point to build local capacity for AR/VR content creation, promote the use of these technologies in other sectors, and develop new public sector products to capitalize on this potential.
  • To realize the full potential of AR/VR in FDI attraction and to maximize spillover effects, countries should focus on upskilling the public sector workforce to identify, develop, and implement AR/VR solutions.
  • Countries should support the development of robust local AR/VR innovation ecosystems through public sector investment, cross-sector collaboration, and regulatory environments that allow for iteration and experimentation.