Dear Colleagues,
The G20 Ministerial Meeting held on 9 and 10 July in Shanghai under the China Presidency has agreed a set of non-binding
Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking (English version). The Guiding Principles are the outcome of six months of intensive discussions held in the G20’s newly established Trade and Investment Group, which aims to enhance global trade and investment policy cooperation, and constitute a priority deliverable for the 2016 G20 Summit. Work on the Principles was facilitated by UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise (visit news item).


The G20 Guiding Principles aim to provide general guidance for investment policymaking in order to (i) foster an open, transparent and conducive global policy environment for investment, (ii) promote coherence in national and international investment policymaking in the absence of a global governance regime, and (iii) promote investment for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.


The G20 Guiding Principles for Investment Policymaking cover nine areas: (I) Anti-protectionism, (II) Non-discrimination, (III) Investment protection, (IV) Transparency, (V) Sustainable development, (VI) the Right to regulate, (VII) Investment promotion and facilitation, (VIII) Responsible business conduct, and (IX) International cooperation.


The adoption of the Guiding Principles is a landmark event. It is the first time in more than five decades of international investment policymaking that consensus has been reached between such a varied group of developed, developing and transition economies – representing over two thirds of global foreign direct investment – despite numerous attempts over the years. They constitute a first tentative step in the direction of broad multilateral consensus and as such could have far-reaching systemic implications.

The role of UNCTAD

UNCTAD played a key role as facilitator for the discussions on the Guiding Principles and provided an initial draft based on UNCTAD Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development. It also played a role as coordinator of the interagency working group to provide substantive support to the G20 on other investment related issues.

UNCTAD will continue to support the international investment community in its efforts to work towards promoting investment for sustainable development. The next milestone event in the process will be the upcoming World Investment Forum 2016, taking place from 17-22 July in Nairobi, Kenya.

With best regards,

James X. Zhan

Director, Investment and Enterprise
Palais des Nations, Geneva
Tel: 41229175760