Trade and investment regimes are constantly evolving. However, they have remained entrenched within the neoliberal paradigm, which emphasizes liberalization, privatization, and deregulation. Whereas efforts have been made to enhance stakeholders’ engagement in different trade and investment negotiations and policy making processes, experience unfortunately shows that the economically stronger parties usually benefit the most; that decision-making lacks transparency; and that, generally speaking, agreements made at the global level are often especially disadvantageous to developing countries/ regions. International trade and investment agreements are often laden with rigged rules which not only have far-reaching implications on the economy of a country, but also for people and the environment. It is primarily the most vulnerable groups who suffer most from these agreements as their rights and sovereignty are undermined through policies, laws, and agreements that contribute to increased inequality, unemployment, limited access to social services, land dispossession, environmental degradation, violation of rights, and casualization of labour among others.

This thematic area is therefore informed by the urgent need to promote trade justice, sustainable investment for development, and trade in agriculture amidst an increasing push to enact national laws, policies and regulations; and to negotiate and sign investment and trade related agreements at multilateral, bilateral, and regional level that aim to promote and protect private interests at the expense of human rights.

Under this thematic area, SEATINI seeks to promote agricultural practices and methods that sustain indigenous farmers, traditional seed systems and communities, protect human rights, are profitable, climate resilience, environmentally sound and good for communities. by Specifically, the thematic area seeks to trade and investment policies, laws, and agreements that promote sustainable agriculture production and productivity, industrialization and value addition, access to viable markets, decent work, women economic empowerment, and improved revenues and incomes at national and household levels respectively.

Our work under Trade, Investment and Development Thematic Area: