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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Businesses seek upfront role in future development policy

Business associations in Europe and other advanced countries are seeking to put their imprint on a future global development framework, having called for a strong private-sector role in shaping the future of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the UN high-level panel on the post-2015 framework which took place on March 27 in Bali, Indonesia.
“We believe that for the post-2015 goals to contribute to delivering the global development agenda, it will be essential that they help stimulate business of all sizes around the world to grow and flourish in a responsible and sustainable manner,” says a letter sent by entrepreneurs to the United Nations’ high-level panel weighing a future MDG agenda.
The letter was signed by The Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Chamber of Commerce, and seven other groups; they represent some of the world’s biggest corporations along with smaller firms.
Largely left out of the negotiations that created the MDGs in 2000, businesses this time around are working to influence the next anti-poverty framework. The European Union’s own roadmap for the post-2015 development goals, ‘A Decent Life for All’, was similarly based on consultations with businesses as well as civic groups.
The EU and other major donors agreed at an international conference in 2011 to improve their cooperation on development aid and called for more private-sector involvement to reduce extreme poverty through investment and job-creation.
Advocacy groups, however, are wary of mixing human and business development.
At a conference held in the European Parliament on 21 March, MEPs and anti-poverty campaigners acknowledged development financing is under stress because of fiscal crises in traditional donor nations. But they questioned a shift in EU policies to mix loans and grants – known as ‘blending’ - to help foster private-sector growth. Most of private investment flows into middle-income countries rather than the poorest nations “where there is a huge infrastructure needs gap”, Jesse Griffiths, director of The European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said.

Source: Euractiv