Trade plays a crucial role in determining what form of development a country pursues or is capable of pursuing. Developing countries rich in natural resources are a key target of international investors. But global commodity markets and related illegal cross-border financial transactions often contribute to development that is not sustainable. And they can limit the ability of affected countries to mobilize their own resources. Yet such mobilization is urgently needed in order for these countries to achieve the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda. From the perspective of sustainability, what is needed are a balanced trade system, equitable trade relations, and financial flows that comply with national and international law.
In interdisciplinary teams and partnerships, CDE researchers look for ways of structuring trade, trade relations, financial flows from resource-rich developing countries, and international commodity investments so that they are fair and contribute to sustainable development.