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Without investment, sustainable development is impossible. 

Investment is critical for sustainable development, which requires fundamental changes in how we produce, distribute and dispose of goods. Today, this kind of change must come mainly through investment in new technologies and new processes that can replace unsustainable practices. In developing countries, where domestic sources of capital are scarce, foreign direct investment plays a significant role.

But not all investment leads to sustainable development, and not all of the global rules and institutions relating to international investment have been conceived through a sustainable development lens. IISD's work on investment and sustainable development focuses on this critical linkage, and provides new approaches to ensure that investment law and policy will make a positive contribution to sustainable development. In particular, we examine how the rules and institutions that govern international investment flows can be improved to help developing countries attract the sort of investment that promotes sustainable development.

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  • Report
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    Integrating Investor Obligations and Corporate Accountability Provisions in Trade and Investment Agreements

    This report synthesizes the main points that emerged from the discussions in the expert meeting co-organized by IISD and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Versoix, Switzerland, January 11–12, 2018.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 9, Issue 1, April 2018

    Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 9, Issue 1, April 2018

    Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD’s flagship journal on international investment law and policy.

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  • Commentary
    The Influential Amici in Philip Morris v. Uruguay: A new role for intergovernmental organizations in investment treaty arbitration?

    The Influential Amici in Philip Morris v. Uruguay: A new role for intergovernmental organizations in investment treaty arbitration?

    The role of amicus curiae briefs in the outcome of the Philip Morris v. Uruguay dispute suggests that intergovernmental organizations could play a more useful role in investment treaty arbitration.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2017

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2017

    Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD’s flagship quarterly journal on international investment law and policy.

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  • Commentary
    A Risky Tango? Investment facilitation and the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires

    A Risky Tango? Investment facilitation and the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires

    Investment facilitation—if structured right—could reshape global investment law frameworks for the better. However, this solution-oriented cooperative approach is not well-suited for the WTO.

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  • Report
    Investment Laws of ASEAN Countries: A comparative review

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    This report compares the investment laws of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, focusing on basic questions relating to the function of investment laws in each country.

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  • Report
    Contracts for Sustainable Infrastructure: Ensuring the economic, social and environmental co-benefits of infrastructure investment projects

    Contracts for Sustainable Infrastructure: Ensuring the economic, social and environmental co-benefits of infrastructure investment projects

    This report defines sustainable infrastructure, outlines its expected characteristics and co-benefits, and presents why governments must and how they can integrate sustainability into public–private partnerships (PPP) and other infrastructure contracts.

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  • Commentary
    Is “Moonlighting” a Problem? The role of ICJ judges in ISDS

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  • Paper
    Towards an Indicative List of FDI Sustainability Characteristics

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