New publication: SDG Investment Trends Monitor

Dear Members of the World Investment Network,

It is my pleasure to announce the publication of UNCTAD’s first SDG Investment Trends Monitor.

The Monitor analyzes directional trends in investment in the SDGs, following the 10 SDG-relevant sectors for which investment gaps were estimated in the World Investment Report 2014 (WIR14) – adding up to a total gap of $2.5 trillion annually.

The publication responds to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which calls for high-quality disaggregated data and monitoring as vital inputs for evidence-based decision making to support the SDGs. UNCTAD will continue to track new developments and work with partners to improve data collection.


  • The data paints a mixed picture of both investment trends and monitoring capacities across the 10 SDG-investment sectors.
  • Signs of progress are evident across several sectors, including in climate change mitigation, food and agriculture, and health. By contrast, investment appears stagnant in the education and water and sanitation sectors.
  • Across the board, investment growth falls short of the requirements projected in WIR14. Even in areas where new investment initiatives and innovative financing mechanisms are taking off, the order of magnitude is not yet in the range that would make a signi­ficant impact on estimated investment gaps.
  • The persistent financing gap demands transformative initiatives to mobilize and channel investment towards the SDGs. UNCTAD’s Action Plan for Investment in the SDGs puts forward six sets of ideas aimed at creating a Big Push for investment in sustainable development.

Best regards,

James X. Zhan
Director, Investment and Enterprise
Lead, World Investment Report
United Nations Conference on Trade & Development
Palais des Nations, Geneva

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