Supporting inclusive and sustainable growth for human development
Engaging the Private Sector for Development
A healthy, vibrant and competitive private sector is a key to growth and reducing poverty. Moreover, effectively engaging the private sector as a development partner could create jobs, income opportunities for the poor, and leverage additional funding for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Engaging the private sector as a development partner is a relatively new concept for national and donor governments and multilateral organisations. Since 2000, the United Nations has been driving the need for such engagement with the call for a new role for the private sector to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The European Commission took up the challenge in2011 inits ‘Agenda for Change’, a strategy aimed at increasing the impact of EU development policy. The Commission recognises the imperative for a favourable business environment to foster economic growth, and promotes the following principles in development cooperation:
Developing competitive local private sectors by building local institutional and business capacity;
Promoting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives;
Supporting legislative and regulatory framework reforms and their enforcement – including for the use of electronic communications as a tool to support growth across all sectors; and
Facilitating access to business and financial services and promoting agricultural, industrial and innovation policies.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, the EU is at a crossroads – it is pursuing innovative ways of financing that will leverage public money with private sector investment. To this end, the EU intends to strengthen blending mechanisms to boost financial resources for development. Additional strategies include using new or existing financial instruments – such as blending grants and loans and other risk-sharing mechanisms – to leverage further resources.
Unfortunately, the foundations of private sector development are weak in most developing and least developed countries (LDCs). To strengthen these foundations, national and donor governments must reform laws, regulations and other barriers to growth; facilitate public-private cooperation and partnerships; and encourage the development of business models that can be successfully replicated and that are commercially sustainable.
A more balanced approach for the roles of the public and private sector and their collaboration is key. Governments need to create an enabling pro-business environment and are increasingly seeking the advice of the private sector in policy-making in order to do so.
European Development Days 2012
European Development Days 2012, Europe’s premier forum on international affairs and development cooperation, offers an opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders from around the world to take stock, debate, and make recommendations. It will be a forum to explore innovative models and new approaches to public-private collaboration that can help create direct economic opportunities for developing countries and LDCs.
Six high-level panels will address how to successfully engage the private sector as a development partner and how to use innovative approaches to finance development using both public and private sector investment:
Women’s Entrepreneurship to Reshape the Economy Through Innovation in the Middle-East andNorthern Africa
How Can We Maximise Inclusive Growth and Development?
The Role of the Private Sector in Transforming African Economies
Inclusive Business Models
Building Competitive Industries and Systems for Green and Inclusive Innovation
New Partnerships in Decentralised Cooperation
European Development Days will also feature several special addresses and interactive project lab presentations where participants can share best practices.
A healthy, vibrant and competitive private sector is a key to growth and reducing poverty. But how can we best engage the private sector as a development partner to create jobs, income opportunities for the poor, and to leverage additional funding for sustainable and inclusive growth?