For the last 10 years, WRI’s International Financial Flows and the Environment Project (IFFE) has sought to influence the investments of traditional financial institutions, such as the World Bank, based on the assumption that these institutions set the norm for foreign investment worldwide. However, the landscape has changed, and increasingly the investments of “emerging actors” from major developing country economies such as China, Brazil, India, and South Africa are beginning to have a footprint on development finance. As a result, WRI began a project in 2010 to influence the environmental and social performance of several of these financial institutions.


  • To present the initial findings of WRI’s scoping research on Emerging Actors in Development Finance and field research on China’s involvement in Uganda’s oil sector

  • To receive feedback on WRI’s findings and plans for moving forward:

    • Who are the major players in China’s overseas investment?
    • How can WRI engage with them?
    • Compared to other emerging countries, especially Brazil, what differences do you see between China and Brazil in their overseas investment?
    • How can WRI have an impact on Emerging Actors’ environmental and social sustainability?
    • What other issues need to be addressed?

Event Presentations

  • Xiaomei Tan; Emerging Actors in Development Finance: China & Brazil
  • Alexander Wang; Introduction to China's Overseas Interests: Overseas FDI & Protection to Overseas Citizens
  • Kirk Herbertson; Case Study: China's Investments in Uganda's Oil and Gas Sector
  • Zhang Guangrong; Chinese Overseas Investment and Resistance from Host Countries