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.

Trade and Development Symposium

Sustainable Investment: What Role for the WTO?

11 December 2017 , Bolsa de Cereales, Buenos Aires - 10:45 - 12:15

With ongoing slow global economic growth, countries continue to work on the levers of dynamic growth and sustainable development. A key strategy is to focus on attracting and facilitating foreign investment inflows in order to enhance a country’s participation and movement along global value chains (GVCs), an approach expected to not only create more jobs, but better jobs, and growth. Over the last decades however, despite attracting record amounts of foreign direct investment before 2007, in most cases, developing countries have found that the investments attracted were either short-term, or had failed to generate sufficient spillovers and backward linkages, resulting in a local private sector that was not competitive enough to participate and upgrade along additional global value chains. Given such a trend, this session will seek to contribute to a better understanding of why developing countries struggle to increase, retain, and benefit from the investments attracted. How should policies and frameworks be adapted to not only increase investments, but to facilitate the flow of sustainable investments? This session, leveraging the momentum of recent discussions taking place at the WTO and the G20 on investment, aimed to explore options for additional international coordination, for the purpose of increasing global flows in sustainable investments. This session was organised under the E15 Initiative, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, and was moderated by Rashmi Jose, Senior Programme Officer on Investment Policy, ICTSD.

The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium (TSDS), held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. The TSDS – organised by ICTSD in partnership with the Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC), the InterAmerican Development Bank (BID), Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales (CARI) and Bolsa de Cereales with the support and collaboration of the Ministerio de Producción, Presidencia de la Nación, Argentina – acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.