25 May 2016

'Making the Commodity Sector Work for Developing Countries'

Switzerland occupies an important position in the global trade of hard and soft commodities. Companies headquartered within its borders directly or indirectly shape commodity extraction practices around the world, some of which carry considerable negative environmental and social risks on the ground, particularly in fragile contexts. Minimising these risks and maximising shared economic gains could enable mutually beneficial development and counteract persistent social and political inequality.

The WTI in collaboration with the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern and the Institute for Business Ethics (IWE) of the University of St. Gallen has produced a factsheet that examines these issues locally in developing countries – complementing a previous factsheet that focused on Switzerland’s role as a trading hub. It further highlights promising approaches for research and policy change with regard to developing country governments, involved companies, trading hubs, and the international community.

The factsheet was written in the context of the project “Global change and developing countries: why should we care?” managed by the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE) and the Forum for Climate and Global Change (ProClim).