Tax Incentives for Investment. Old and New Challenges for International Trade

This event is part of the workshop series “Globalization and Digitalization – Interconnections between taxation, trade and investment” co-organized with the GLOBTAXGOV Project (Leiden University), City University of Hong Kong and Asia Pacific FDI Forum. More details on the workshop series here.

Despite their stated goals including attracting FDI, creating employment and boosting R&D and innovation, tax incentives for investment are often ineffective. Indeed, several provisions are redundant and hence end-up triggering costly windfall gains. They can also trigger negative spillover effects on third countries, e.g. when it comes to international trade through and the use of tax incentives as harmful tax practices. The digitalization of the economy has exacerbated some of the existing challenges with respect to the use of tax incentives and their impact on international trade. For instance, certain vulnerabilities in the international tax arena such as the allocation of taxing rights on the basis of physical presence have been intensified with the disruption of digitalization.

  • Tax incentives and inter-nation equity at the global level.
  • The use of tax incentives as trade barriers.
  • Tax incentives and FDI. How should tax incentives for investment be designed?
  • Tax incentives for investment in a digitalized economy.


Hania Kronfol – Private Sector Specialist, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation, World Bank Group (slides here).
Pasquale Pistone – Academic Chairman, International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) (slides here).
Simon J. Evenett – Professor of International Trade and Economic Development, University of St. Gallen
Alexandra Readhead – Lead, Tax and Extractives, Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (slides here).
Lise Johnson – Head of Investment Law and Policy, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)