Publication launch dates 2018

The flagship reports the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will publish this year are based on the most recent and relevant economic data.

UNCTAD's goal is to help ensure the fair and sustainable integration of developing countries in the global economy. We use our convening power to mobilise players from all horizons - government, civil society and the private sector, for example - around key development issues including investment, commodities and e-commerce. Below, you will find details of global events that have the potential to change perspectives on these matters of global concern.

UNCTAD's mandate to create a better and more effective system of international economic cooperation also finds its concrete expression in our research and analysis. As in the past, our 2018 reports will be based on the most recent and relevant economic data. They present strategically important recommendations for the international community as it strives to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development against a background of challenges to multilateralism and of growing distrust towards the trading system.

The majority of the reports mentioned below will have their main launch in Geneva with UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, presiding. Other press conferences will be organized in various countries worldwide. In some cases, we will invite you to online press conferences. More details will follow.

All documents will be available in our virtual newsroom, one week before the embargo is lifted.

For further information, please contact Press Unit, +41.22.917.58.28, +41.79.502.43.11,

Key Events

Geneva, 16-20 April 2018

E-commerce experts will discuss the development dimensions of digital platforms. E-commerce continues to grow in the global economy. Its value increased to an estimated $25 trillion in 2015, up from $16 trillion in 2013. The new digital economy is set to have transformational impacts, creating both opportunities and challenges for government, business and the public alike. In this context, various forms of digital platforms play a central role, facilitating e-commerce, payments, labour opportunities and cloud work, as well as social interaction.



Geneva, 23-24 April 2018

Among high-level decision makers and experts from the public, private and civil society sectors, convened in this open forum, the debate will focus on building skills for sustainable development. It will explore the roles that skill development plays in the commodities sector, to help countries, companies and individuals move up the value chain, thereby contributing to industrial development, decent work opportunities and professional education. The forum is part of the UNCTAD programme "Breaking the Chains of Commodity Dependence".



Geneva, 22-25 October 2018

Centred on the theme of Investing in Sustainable Development, the forum will address global challenges for international investment, allowing the expected 5,000 participants to brainstorm solution-oriented initiatives and build global partnerships to advance prosperity for all. Those taking part will range from heads of investment promotion agencies, investment treaty negotiators, impact investors and foundations, investment lawyers, academics, stock exchange executives and pension and sovereign wealth fund managers, to international accounting standard setters, corporate social responsibility monitors, entrepreneurs and representatives of non-governmental organisations.


Technology and Innovation Report 2018

Harnessing Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development

The report will address the possibilities for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals that are being opened by exponential technological changes in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, or synthetic biology. To enable those opportunities to materialise, the report will flag the need for a sustained effort by the international community to ensure that the multiple gaps in technological capabilities that separate developed and developing countries are closed. The report will also underline the need for innovative approaches to address societal needs in a broader sense than traditional innovation policy used to do, and for new instruments to help people navigate the transition towards emerging forms of economic organisation that are being defined by fast-changing technologies.

The Report will be released 15 May 2018 at 17:00 GMT

Economic Development in Africa Report 2017Economic Development in Africa Report 2018

 Migration and Structural Transformation in Africa

The Report highlights how intra-African migration is of relevance for regional and continental integration and offer new insights for African governments as well as for migration stakeholders outside the continent. The report seeks to remedy to knowledge gaps, on the relationship between migration, economic and trade policies. By drawing patterns of intra-African migration and channels through which they affect socio-economic development outcomes in Africa, it innovatively adopts a human-centered narrative in identifying opportunities for absorption of extra labour in different sectors across the continent.

The Report will be released 31 May 2018 at 17:00 GMT

World Investment Report 2017World Investment Report 2018

 Investment and New Industrial Policies

The report will present international investment trends and prospects at global, regional and national levels, as well as the evolution of international production and global value chains. It will also analyse the latest developments in policy measures for investment promotion, facilitation and regulation globally. It will provide updates on investment treaties, their reform and investment dispute settlement cases. It will also offer an overview of industrial policy models for countries at different development levels and the role of investment policies within each model, analyse the investment policy implications of the new industrial revolution for high-, middle- and low- income countries. and present a toolkit on how to use investment policies for new industrial development strategies.

The Report will be released 6 June 2018 at 17:00 GMT

Report on UNCTAD Assistance to the Palestinian PeopleReport on UNCTAD Assistance to the Palestinian People


UNCTAD will update on developments in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its long-term prospects, as well as looking at Israel's policies and associated obstacles to trade and development there.

The Report will be released 12 September 2018 at 17:00 GMT

Trade and Development Report 2017Trade and Development Report 2018


The report will review global economic performance over the past year and look ahead to emerging risks facing developing countries. It will also examine the topics of changing trade patterns in the era of hyperglobalisation, of digital industrial policy and of infrastructure planning. It will link the issues of globalisation, inequality and growth with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Report will be released 26 September 2018 at 17:00 GMT

Review of Maritime Transport 2017Review of Maritime Transport 2018


Marking the 50th anniversary of the publication, this edition will report on and assess potential implications of recent developments in the maritime transport sector, including seaborne trade, fleet, markets and rates, ports as well as legal and regulatory frameworks. In addition to the regular annual review, a 50th anniversary special edition will compile comments from UNCTAD maritime transport experts as well as from international scholars.

The Review will be released 3 October 2018 at 07:00 GMT

Least Developed Countries Report 2017Least Developed Countries Report 2018

The report will assess concrete elements of the intelligent design of entrepreneurship and enterprise development policy for inclusive and sustainable structural transformation in the world's least developed countries. It will focus on a nuanced and realistic approach to entrepreneurship and enterprise development support, acknowledging the presence of various types of entrepreneurs and enterprises in least developed countries, recognising their differential innovative potential and range of contributions to inclusive and sustainable structural transformation.

The Report will be released 20 November 2018 at 17:00 GMT


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