This Special Section on policy instruments for innovation, investment and global trade presents several approaches how to foster economic growth. It deals with well-known instruments such as guarantees and loans for trade finance as well as export credits. It also sheds light on how foreign direct investment strategies can be tremendously successful, and how governments can learn from effective policy approaches. It shows how financial instruments for investors can be used to manage and minimise risks. And, last but not least, it has a look at the government toolbox for innovation as well as the ingredients for an ecosystem combining different policy instruments.