The promotion of South-South investment is imperative to meet a broader goal for long-term economic growth and to achieving the SDGs. To fully optimize the benefits of South-South investments, enabling policies, regulations and right procedures are necessary preconditions that need further analysis. The South-South Global Thinkers initiative has come together to produce a series of workshops to identify legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that support the development of productive investment through SSC. The first of these workshops was held in Thailand in August 2017 and focused on South-South investment in Asia; the second workshop was held in the Czech Republic in May 2018.
This scoping paper reflects the discussions held and the research agenda finalized in the second workshop. Three major discussion themes are presented here: (a) global, regional and country trends; (b) public and private partnerships and perspectives; and (c) opportunities and strategies for South-South investment in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including a sectoral focus on opportunities in tourism and the digital economy. The three themes were developed in Thailand; however, the emphasis in the two regions differed on a number of key issues including the centrality of regional cooperation, the prominence of special economic zones (SEZs), the role of human capital development and conceptual issues pertaining to the framing of SSC. Those differences and their complementary areas of broad agreement are also discussed in this paper. The final section concludes by suggesting directions for future research developed collaboratively by the members of the South-South Global Thinkers think tank networks. It is hoped that the discussions in Thailand and the Czech Republic reflected in these scoping papers will feed into the formulation of a research agenda that aims to inform and thus improve policymaking to promote and strengthen South-South investment policies. The research agenda will also identify policy and legal issues that are enabling or hindering Southern countries to engage in SSC within their regions.