Sustainable Trade and Finance

This specialisation is one of seven included in our Master in International and Development Studies. These specialisations are interconnected curricula that provide the possibility for you to tailor your individual path.

This specialisation on Sustainable Trade and Finance focuses on the challenges and opportunities of financial deepening and international economic integration, with a special focus on sustainability and inclusiveness. 

How to apply

The objective of the track is to provide you with the practical skills and knowledge, which are necessary for both practitioners and scholars who work on issues related to sustainability, economic development and inclusiveness.
Ugo Panizza
Head of the Sustainable Trade and Finance Specialisation

Programme details and objectives 

The specialisation offers core training in international economics and finance and a portfolio of courses that focus on sustainability, trade law, and geopolitics. Courses will discuss how countries can harness the domestic and international financial sector to promote sustainable and inclusive growth and how economic globalisation can affect wellbeing across and within countries. These issues will be covered from different angles in a multidisciplinary and critical approach, which includes anthropology, economics, history, law, international relations and sociology. 

The specialisation aims at providing you with the knowledge and practical skills that are necessary for scholars and professionals who work on issues related to international economic integration, development finance, and sustainability. 


Economic globalisation and the process of financial deepening at both the national and international levels have important implications on human welfare and sustainability. Courses in the specialisation discuss:

  • How economic globalisation affects income levels and the distribution of income across and within countries

  • The cost and opportunities of international financial integration and the relationship between financial globalisation and financial crises

  • How to finance the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Competition and the role of the state-owned enterprises in the global economy

  • International business and its links with human rights

  • The role of technology in development and innovation

  • The geopolitics of international energy

  • The political economy of labour

  • Internet governance

  • The politics of international finance

Opportunities and Career Options 

Geneva is a hub for both international trade and sustainable finance. The Graduate Institute is located within walking distance from key international organisations such as the World Trade Organization, interacts regularly with many Geneva-based financial institutions, and several faculty members cooperate closely with major global international financial institutions. This unique ecosystem allows you to interact with senior policymakers and practitioners and makes you part of the global debate on the most pressing issues in finance and international trade. This location in the heart of International Geneva also provides opportunities for internships and other forms of cooperation with potential future employers.  

Built as an integral part of the specialisation, an Applied Research Project (or Capstone Project) offers you the possibility to lead a research project in partnership with key national and international organisations active in international trade and sustainable finance. The objective of this component of the programme is to provide you with practical skills, which will allow them to become leaders in international organisations, financial institutions, government agencies, and NGOs.