Development and trade at IDS

Published on 27 July 2022

International trade and trade policy play a key role in contributing to improved livelihoods across the world. Yet it is well-established that trade generates winners and losers. Research has shown that despite the overall benefits from trade, trade can lead to increasing poverty or have negative impacts on sustainability. The challenging question is: what can be done about this?

The UK Government’s current International Development Strategy establishes investment and trade as its central focus, yet lacks detail on how this increased trade and investment will improve the lives of the poorest communities globally. Through our work on development and inclusive trade, we are calling for trade policy to made participatory and transparently as the strategy is implemented. This page contains a selection of our outputs on inclusive trade and development.

A container ship carrying crates across the sea

Through our research, teaching, and partnerships, IDS is working to better understand the different aspects of inclusive trade: transparency and participation in trade policymaking, poverty impacts, gender equality, and issues of human rights and sustainability; how to address asymmetries along power dimensions in trade and trade policy; and policy pathways towards achieving better inclusion for international trade. If you are interested in collaborating with us in future work on inclusive trade contact Amrita Saha via [email protected].

A woman carrying crops in Al Obaied market, Sudan


Men working at a Farmers market in Mali

Opinion – Voices on Inclusive Trade

Men unloading at the docks, Mexico


Our Inclusive Trade seminar series engages with academic debates, policy and practice on international trade and development outcomes, critically exploring different dimensions of inclusion for trade.

A clothes market near Ramallah, Palestine


A boat at the port of Rades, Tunisia

Learn with us

Trade Experts

Karishma Banga –  Karishma is an economist with a focus on international trade, digitalisation and development. Her ongoing research examines upgrading in Global Value Chains (GVCs), digitalisation and labour markets and digital trade negotiations, with a focus on development implications, particularly for African and Asian economies

If you have a media enquiry or would like an expert comment on trade, contact [email protected] or call +44 07933 389304.

Women packaging handicrafts, Nepal

Research projects, clusters and centres

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