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

Sustainable Development Characteristics for Investment

02 June 2017 , Geneva, Switzerland

On 2 June, the fourth dialogue on the trajectory of investment for sustainable development, following on from the E15 Initiative, was jointly organised by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum with the support of the Government of the Netherlands.

The dialogue aims to deepen discussions on clarifying the linkages between investment and sustainable development by developing an indicative list of sustainability-oriented attributes most often sought after when facilitating cross-border investment flows.

Such an indicative list of characteristics could benefit negotiators of international investment agreements seeking to take sustainability considerations into account when negotiating such treaties; host country governments and investment promotion agencies seeking to attract sustainable foreign direct investment (FDI); home country governments supporting their firms to investment abroad; arbitrators in international investment disputes seeking to account for the development impact of investment projects; and intergovernmental organisations seeking to develop their own guidelines to further the sustainable development impact of FDI, among a host of additional actors.

The objective of the dialogue is to examine the rationale for developing the list, by considering its use in light of recent changes within the global political and business landscape, and to review sustainability-oriented attributes most often mentioned in various international and domestic instruments dealing with multinational enterprises and FDI. Feedback was also given to mechanisms through which the sustainability characteristics can be promoted and aligned into formal political processes, including the WTO, the G20, G77, G33, and APEC, to name a few.

Should there be deeper international cooperation that may lead to a framework on investment facilitation, the characteristics could be integrated into the framework to provide guidance on what type of investments to prioritise when providing investment facilitation-related services.