7-8 JUNE 2017 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Engaging the Private Sector

The private sector is an essential element in achieving sustainable and inclusive growth in developing countries. In many, micro-businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises are the main source of employment. A dynamic business sector is therefore a basic pre-requisite for the creation of decent jobs for all, including women and young people.

The Agenda for Change and the EC Communication on the role of the Private Sector reiterate the importance for development of an enabling business environment, a competitive local private sector and integration of developing economies into the Global Value Chains. The private sector is also the key delivery channel in priority sectors that have a strong multiplier development impact such as sustainable agriculture, energy, infrastructure and the green economy.

Decent employment accompanied by appropriate wages, training opportunities and respect of responsible business practices are the most reliable path out of poverty. We need to tackle the considerable challenges faced by entrepreneurs, especially in the informal sector, such as insecure property rights, corruption, policy unpredictability, and limited access to finance and public services.

The private sector is a key partner in providing access to basic goods and services for all, such as clean water and sanitation, energy, financial services, communication and information, housing, medicines and other inclusive solutions. Beyond improving lives of consumers, the private sector offers people opportunities to develop their own productive activities and enables governments to generate the tax revenues necessary for development.

Fostering a thriving private sector often requires extensive economic reforms and designing the institutional, organisational and regulatory frameworks. When government actions encourage the entrepreneurial mind set, they often have a positive impact on the establishment of civil society actors that contribute to democracy and state-building.