Services, Trade and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: which policies matter most?

March 4, 2019 – March 6, 2019 all-day Europe/Rome Timezone
Cappella, Villa Schifanoia
Via Giovanni Boccaccio
50133 Firenze
Matthias Kindel

Academy of Global Governance (in collaboration with the School of Transnational Governance)


Scientific Coordinators:
Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute
Ben Shepherd | Developing Trade Consultants


Cappella, Villa Schifanoia, Via Boccaccio 121 – Florence 4 – 6 MARCH 2019


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) frame the actions of development partners—donors, beneficiaries, international organizations, and civil society—over the 2030 time horizon. The SDGs are wide ranging, and overlap in many areas with international trade and investment. Businesses with international activities, as well as international organizations and research institutes, are in a position to take positive actions to help move the development agenda forward. But to do so, they need to be informed on the content of the SDGs, and leaders need to think creatively about how their organizations can contribute—an area in which the UN framework provides little concrete guidance.
The purpose of this Executive Training was to introduce participants to the SDGs framework, with the aim of provoking discussion as to the ways in which business, international organizations, and researchers can participate in promoting progress. The emphasis was on the services dimension, especially trade and investment linkages across countries and policy reforms that can support improved access to vital services for people in low and middle income countries. The course assembled experts from around the world to discuss the many ways in which services and policy can contribute to the SDGs, and also to address issues—particularly performance measurement and attribution—where the goals themselves remain vague. Participants left better informed on:
• The policy framework governing international development efforts through 2030.
• The ways in which business, international organizations, and researchers can contribute to progress.
• The issues that confront policymakers and civil society in seeking to develop concrete actions and timetables to move forward on sustainable development.
• The data and quantitative measures available to track performance and inform decision-making.
• The role of services in supporting key development objectives.


Final programme



Martina Ferracane | European Centre for International Political Economy, Belgium
Matteo Fiorini | European University Institute, Italy
Matthias Helble | Asian Development Bank, Philippines
Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute, Italy
Justine Lan | World Trade Organisation, Switzerland
Patrick Low | University of Hong Kong, China
Ben Shepherd | Development Trade Consultants, United States