The E15 engages key stakeholders – trade and investment policy makers, business and thought leaders – in policy dialogues in Geneva and around the world to explore and help validate ideas, align interests and strengthen the impetus for change.

Policy Dialogues

Facilitating Global Investment Through Policy Cooperation and Coordination

19 May 2016 , Geneva, Switzerland

The international community has resolved through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to address the most important economic, social and environmental challenges of our time. Achieving these goals would require a closing of a US$ 2.5 trillion funding gap, an amount which cannot be delivered through traditional ODA alone. As highlighted in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, private investment would play a critical role to address this global challenge, but its increase and effectiveness would have to be further enabled. With the increasing overlap between trade and investment overtime, this requires greater coordination and coherence amongst policy frameworks and governing mechanisms. A lasting yet flexible system would need an interactive participation of all stakeholders and incorporation of the emerging emphasis on sustainable development’s objectives in both policy and private transactions. Examples of this include the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the G7 Declaration of June 2015, which emphasizes inter alia responsible supply chains with internationally recognized labour, social and environmental standards being applied by their enterprises in global supply chains. Such aspects will overlap with various international initiatives to develop common and inclusive frameworks, and thus highlight a special need for consensus-building and understanding of different perspectives.

The new Climate Agreement in Paris has recently shown the feasibility of achieving high-ambition accords on the global level. A similar effort for trade or investment, however, is not yet forthcoming. The WTO, following its Ministerial meeting at Nairobi, has entered a period of reflection, with a possibility of discussions to consider new approaches and issues to better reflect today’s market and business realities. With ongoing slow global economic growth, countries continue to work on the levers of dynamic growth and sustainable development. A key emphasis is the focus on facilitating and raising investment, including foreign direct investment. In the context of WTO discussions as well as the G20 deliberations, investment is emerging as a major area of focus. In light of these developments and the daunting challenges that countries face in the years ahead, the timing may be ripe to begin exploring a coordinated, coherent action on international investment, including a progressively common approach to the international governance of international investment.

In this context, the ICTSD and the World Economic Forum are organising a series of investment policy dialogues to foster informal and solution-oriented discussions amongst policy-makers and key stakeholders on the systemic issues facing the international investment regime, with a view towards advancing best practices and international rulemaking, whether it be through hard or soft law, on investment policy.

Participants from the E15:

  • Nathalie BERNASCONI-OSTERWALDER, Group Director, Economic Law & Policy, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Sean DOHERTY, Head of International Trade & Investment, World Economic Forum
  • Mark FELDMAN, Associate Professor of Law, Peking University School of Transnational Law
  • Jonathan FRIED, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Canadian Mission to the WTO
  • Nicolle GRAUGNARD, Policy Manager, Trade and Investment Policies, Internationl Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • Rashmi JOSE, Programme Officer, E15Initiative, ICTSD
  • Ricardo MELÉNDEZ-ORTIZ, Chief Executive, ICTSD
  • Cristian RODRIGUEZ-CHIFFELLE, Lead for Trade & Investment Policy, World Economic Forum
  • Githa ROELANS, Head of Multinational Enterprise Engagement Unit, International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Karl P. SAUVANT, Resident Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (by videoconference)
  • Jingxia SHI, Dean and Professor, UIBE