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UNCTAD: Facilitating Investment in the Sustainable Development Goals Guide

The guide provides governments with practical recommendations on how to efficiently and effectively allocate scarce resources towards investment facilitation activities that can yield the maximum sustainable development impact. Lessons and experience from UNCTAD’s technical assistance and analysis work, as well as numerous examples from across the world - from Brazil to Cambodia to Lesotho - feed into the guide.

Recommendations are focused in four main areas, namely:

  • Prioritization and preparation: define priority SDG targets and prepare SDG investment project profiles;

  • Promotion of partnerships: foster partnerships in support of SDG investment projects and strengthen the enabling ecosystem for SDG investment;

  • Proactive facilitation: provide SDG-relevant information to investors and propose services to enhance SDG impact of their operations;

  • Performance monitoring and reporting: Track and report progress and invest in SDG-investment knowledge management.

A special chapter is dedicated to the digitalization of investment facilitation. It provides guidance for IPAs on how to adopt a progressive and strategic approach to digitalization that is aligned with their SDG impact ambitions. It also provides examples of the types of digital tools being used across an IPA’s operations.

The guide is part of UNCTAD’s wider efforts to shape “a Big Push” for private investment in sustainable development and seeks to move the needle in addressing the SDG finance gap in developing countries.


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