Opening of the Academic Track

Research policy dialogue
in partnership with AIB, Graduate Institute-CFD, CEPR, NYU, UNU-WIDER, SIEL, CCSI
16 October 2023
11:30 - 12:45 Abu Dhabi

For more than three decades, UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise has contributed to advancing research, policy analysis and technical assistance on foreign direct investment (FDI), the activities of multinational enterprises (MNEs), and international production, most notably through its annual World Investment Reports. It has done so in close collaboration with the academic community.

The WIF 2023 Academic Track is organized in partnership with leading academic institutions and associations in disciplines related to investment and development. The track includes a series of thematic events (elsewhere on the programme) integrating research and ideas from leading scholars, researchers, executives from global companies and senior policymakers. It will cover a broad spectrum of issues related to foreign investment, MNEs and development, including themes such as the energy transition, sustainable infrastructure, FDI and women empowerment, SME internationalization, and industry 4.0 and the future of global investment.

The academic track will start with a keynote session followed by a roundtable dialogue, setting the tone and objectives for the week. It will then combine the thematic sessions with a stand-alone academic research conference organized by the academic partners. Leading scholars will run the discussions in core sessions of the WIF, to create synergies between academia and the multi-stakeholder community, cross-fertilizing debates. A series of daily roundup sessions will provide a unique opportunity to hear about the latest research emerging in the field, to reflect on the core issues and themes discussed across the Forum, and to influence the future research agenda on investment for development.

World Investment Report | UNCTAD (click on the link to see the latest updates)

Session themes:

  • Investment in the energy transition
  • FDI and women empowerment
  • Investment in sustainable infrastructure
  • Investing in industry 4.0
  • Global value chains and international production
  • Internationalization of SMEs

Investment for Development Research Square: A meeting place for policy-oriented academic research 

The Investment for Development Research Square, organized by UNCTAD in collaboration with UNU-WIDER, New York University - Abu Dhabi, Middlesex University -Dubai, Geneva Graduate Institute, and the Academy of International Business, is located in the Investment Village of the World Investment Forum 2023. It provides a platform for discussions and exchange of ideas between policymakers, academia, business representatives and professionals from diverse backgrounds. The platform offers a unique opportunity to understand current policy, industry and academic thinking in relation to the role of international investment and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Square also features exhibition booths, which will display recent publications and prize-award academic papers, research outlets, and videos on investment-related topics from Investment Promotion Agencies, leading companies, and experts from the UN and other international organizations.

A key feature of the Research-Policy Square is the daily - high-profile - fireside chats between senior policymakers, practitioners, eminent scholars, and other stakeholders on issues relating to international investment and development. The fireside chats include investment-trade policy nexus, international supply chain restructuring, Industry 4.0, the energy transition, investment facilitation, and FDI and gender issues. The audience will have the opportunity to raise questions and interact directly with the eminent speakers. To enrich the multidisciplinary research agenda, a special session will be held to facilitate research dialogue between scholars and academic journal editors.  


Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Chile to the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Chief of Investment Issues Section, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD
Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization (WTO)
Director, United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research and Professor of development economics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Professor of Economics, University of Oxford
Professor, HEC Montréal
Dean of the Stern School of Business, NYU Abu Dhabi