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The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium, organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. It acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.
avatar for James Zhan

James Zhan

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Senior Director, Investment and Enterprise
PhD in International Economics. Three decades of experience in the areas of trade, investment, technology, business facilitation and enterprise development, including directing policy research, multilateral consensus-building and technical assistance to over 160 governments. Led the formulation of global guidelines for a new generation of investment policies (the Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, and the Roadmap for Reforming International Investment Regime), and the establishment of UNCTAD World Investment Forum. Drafted G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policy-making, and facilitated the negotiations. Currently, Senior Director, Investment and Enterprise Issues, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); concurrently also Chief Editor, UN’s annual World Investment Report. Holds a number of advisory positions with academic institutions, including at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Columbia University and Geneva University. Has published extensively on trade- and investment-related economic and legal issues. Regular guest speaker at high-profile academic, business and policy forums, as well as parliamentary hearings. Appears frequently in international media outlets