James Zhan has been Director of Investment and Enterprise at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) since 2009. He also leads the preparation of the annual UN World Investment Report.
Dr. Zhan has rich experience and expertise in trade, investment, technology, entrepreneurship, corporate governance, business facilitation and national development strategies. He has directed extensive research and policy analysis on key emerging issues, facilitated the formulation of outcomes at various summits (e.g. UN, G20, G7, ACP, APEC, BRICS, Commonwealth), and provided technical assistance to governments and institutions (including cabinets and parliaments) in over 160 countries.
Dr. Zhan led the formulation of global guidelines for the new generation of investment policies, which have been used by over 100 countries. These include the Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, Roadmap for Reforming International Investment Governance, Global Investment Facilitation Action Menu, Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking, and Entrepreneurship Policy Framework. He has been providing guidance for the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (with all major stock exchanges worldwide as its members). He initiated the establishment of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in 2008.
Dr. Zhan is Trade and Investment Council member of the World Economic Forum, and chief strategist for the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies. He is also editor-in-chief of the journal Transnational Corporations. He has held a number of advisory positions with academic institutions, including Cambridge University, Columbia University Geneva University, and was research fellow at Oxford University. He has published extensively on trade and investment-related economic and legal issues. He is a regular speaker at high-level policy, academic and business forums, as well as parliaments. He appears frequently in international media outlets.