What Can an Investment Facilitation Agreement at the WTO Do for Sustainable Development?

Date period
21 June 2018
This think piece looks at the institutional correlation between investment facilitation measures proposed by World Trade Organization (WTO) members and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It argues that the two frameworks are mutually reinforcing not due to the links between trade and investment or the need for non-public financing for sustainable development in developing countries. Rather, it claims that the institutional preoccupation at the heart of investment facilitation measures is in itself conducive to reaching many of the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The piece suggests that an investment facilitation deal that allows room for institutional flexibility and experimentation in members’ domestic structures initiates a process of streamlining and coordinating national and regional agencies and institutions in accordance with specific country goals and developmental priorities.
Implemented jointly by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative was established to convene world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business, and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development.