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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.

  • Best Practices
    IISD Best Practices Series: The Most-Favoured-Nation Clause in Investment Treaties

    IISD Best Practices Series: The Most-Favoured-Nation Clause in Investment Treaties

    This IISD Best Practices paper studies the most-favoured-nation (MFN) clause in investment treaties and its interpretation by arbitral tribunals, drawing lessons for states.

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  • Best Practices
    IISD Best Practices Series: Exhaustion of Local Remedies in International Investment Law

    IISD Best Practices Series: Exhaustion of Local Remedies in International Investment Law

    Part of IISD’s Best Practices Series, this advisory bulletin reviews state-of-the-art options and approaches to the exhaustion of local remedies requirement in international investment law.

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  • Briefing Note
    Private Investments and Agriculture: The importance of integrating sustainability into planning and implementation

    Private Investments and Agriculture: The importance of integrating sustainability into planning and implementation

    Recently, we have seen an increase in large-scale investment into agriculture. An important policy question is to what extent these large-scale agricultural investment contribute to improving local livelihoods, as well as economic and environmental conditions.

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