International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)


International Cooperation

Since its establishment in 1996, ICTSD has played a unique role in enabling, facilitating and supporting policymakers and influencers in identifying and pursuing sustainable development objectives in the context of trade and economic policy. This has been accomplished by:

Serving as a reliable and open-access source of information
Facilitating stakeholders’ engagement in substantive discussions within a non-negotiating context
Enhancing participation, particularly among those without a sufficient voice or capacity to ensure their interests are reflected in trade negotiations
Addressing complex policy needs with clear and timely analysis
Increasingly exploring and generating new collaborative approaches involving non-state actors
Bringing new perspectives to debates on issues from agriculture to public health to sustainable energy
Advancing, understanding and generating new knowledge on some of the most difficult issues in trade-related negotiations and policymaking processes
Effectively partnering with and extending the work on research and dialogue agendas of the WTO, UNCTAD, WIPO, WHO and other policy fora

Brief Introduction

The goal of the organisation is to advance sustainable development through trade-related policymaking.
Trade-related policy frameworks can serve as powerful drivers of sustainable development in global policymaking and global inclusion if those engaged in negotiations incorporate emerging knowledge on economic, environmental, and social issues. In doing so, they are empowered to better understand their own interests, build bridges to others, and advance mutually acceptable solutions.
ICTSD’s vision is a sustainable world, supported by national, regional, and international trade policy and frameworks that support inter-generational equity.


Global economic governance; trade and investment law and policy; innovation, digital economy and intellectual property rights; services trade; environment; climate; energy; agriculture and food security; development and structural transformation; oceans and fisheries.