Trade & investment

Unlock private capital to advance global goals? Here’s how.

  • 21 September 2016
Trade facilitation

With the United Nation’s (UN) General Assembly week in full swing, a number of high-level meetings today will focus on the issue of accelerating capital flows and investment for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Financing for development

The event provides an important opportunity for policymakers to make headway in addressing an estimated investment gap of US$2.5 trillion, of which the private sector could make up US$1.8 trillion. Addressing world leaders earlier this month during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pinpointed financing as a key mechanism to implement the global goals both for sustainable development and climate action.

Echoing Mr Ban’s conviction that the time has come to deliver on commitments made last year, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) says it is crucial to unlock private sector capital to support implementation of a financing framework, adopted in Ethiopia last year, to support the 2030 Agenda.

As discussions take place in New York today, the world business organization is drawing attention to its eight principles to boost investor confidence and unlock private capital, and encourages policymakers to provide an essential foundation for leveraging the investment needed to eradicate poverty, combat climate change and ensure inclusive growth.

The principles – prepared by the ICC Commission on Trade and Investment Policy and supported by ICC’s World Trade Agenda initiative are:

•             Create an investment policy climate by adopting a holistic policy environment which nurtures private investment.

•             Protect investment by supporting international investment agreements, which are important tools to protect foreign direct investment (FDI) flows.

•             Include dispute resolution mechanisms in all investment agreements to ensure investors have direct access to effective and independent dispute settlement.

•             Avoid sectoral discriminations in the negotiation of investment treaties which have a direct impact on the inflow of FDI.

•             Devote greater attention to state-owned enterprises which can enjoy a range of preferential benefits and compete with the private sector in investment and trade areas.

•             Refrain from abusing “national security” provisions in agreements and treaties for protectionist purposes. Such procedures should be applied in a transparent, fair and non-discriminatory manner if they are to be exceptionally used.

•             Avoid forced localization provisions which have negative repercussions on both the investor and on the host country’s attractiveness as an investment destination.

•             Work towards a high-standard multilateral framework on investment that would provide a clear set of rules for investors, governments and relevant stakeholders.

Download the paper Foreign Direct Investment – Promoting and protecting a keypillar for sustainable development and growth.

Eight ICC principles to mobilize investment for the SDGs
Eight ICC principles to mobilize investment for the SDGs