The use of investments, particularly internationally, to accumulate wealth either on an individual or group level is non-productive in material terms and is therefore inconsistent with the productivity and trading principles of capitalism. It is exploitative and creates alienation of rich countries from developing countries, and of the artificial class, created by this process from the proletariat. It hinders general development in underdeveloped countries through foreign debt and through concentrating on its own profit-making objectives rather than social welfare in the country concerned. It hinders production in industrialized countries by supporting that of underdeveloped countries where raw materials are more easily accessible and labour is cheap. Investments, since they are made for profit, tend to be speculative; and since speculation is based on expectation, this causes economic instability which may equally result in political instability. Money and currency play a major role in this artificial situation and goods (particularly gold and precious metals or stones) contribute to a lesser extent. The uncertainty is aggravated by the combination of transnational corporations in investment projects. Such corporations may side-step government controls and may amass greater wealth and resources than entire nations, at the same time being responsible or responsive to no social group apart from their minority elite of directors and anonymous shareholders.
International investments have been on the whole, highly profitable. Investment and trade are inseparable aspects of international economic activity which brings cultural contact between nations and regions, technological advances, increased standards of living, and provides avenues for developing nations to become part of the international community in all senses. Foreign trade and investment is one of the surest guarantors of international peace.