Investment & Enterprise: A Compact to Deliver the SDGs

The brochure on “Investment and enterprise: A compact to deliver the SDGs” demonstrates how the work of the Division on Investment and Enterprise supports member States in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under 2030 Development Agenda.

To achieve Agenda 2030, UNCTAD has calculated, will cost between $3.3 trillion and $4.5 trillion2 a year − in developing countries alone. These calculations take into account needs such as basic infrastructure (roads, rail and ports; power stations; water and sanitation); food security (supporting agriculture and rural development); climate change; and health and education. But current rates of investment in SDG-related sectors are much lower than this level, leaving an annual investment shortfall of some $2.5 trillion that needs to be plugged. This is a hole that the public sector and official development assistance alone cannot fill. Without the involvement of private sector investors – both domestic and foreign – the international community cannot hope to successfully deliver the SDGs. To bring the business sector on board will therefore be an important requirement in the implementation process.

As the acknowledged UN focal pointfor investment and enterprise development, UNCTAD’s work programme in this area presents a comprehensive and interlinked package that seeks to facilitate investment in the SDGs. The point of these efforts is to contribute to sustainable development in three areas — economic, environmental and social — with the overall idea to improve the private sector’s contribution to development. In this way UNCTAD supports efforts that can help: end poverty and hunger; reduce inequalities; create jobs; raise productivity; improve resource and energy use; cut pollution and limit climate change; see to it that skills and technology are widely distributed; improve infrastructure; boost exports; and support the long-term prospects of developing countries.

In all its activities, UNCTAD takes into consideration the policy objectives of developing countries on issues such as private sector development, trade and investment facilitation and participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs) – following the principles and methods in a set of frameworks that guide various aspects of policy making. These are the Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, the Action Plan for Investing in the SDGs, the Global Action Menu for Investment Facilitation, the Entrepreneurship Policy Framework, and the Accounting Development Tool.

“The DIAE has a critical role to play in discussions on the contribution of FDI and private sector for investment to development in the post- 2015 SDGs.” - 2014 independent external evaluation of Subprogramme 2, Investment and enterprise for development (TD/B/WP264)