27 March 2018


Policy Forum on Development, Brussels: Private sector reaffirms commitment to contribute to an enabling environment for development

Representatives of IOE members in Colombia, Malaysia, Senegal and South Africa provided the private sector input to the 6th Global Meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD), which took place in Brussels from 20 – 22 March 2018.  The representatives were also invited to join the private sector-only interactive meeting with the Commission prior to the event.

The Global PFD was opened by Neven Mimica, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, and it explored several themes including how to enable development partners to maximise their contribution to development; policy coherence for development in light of a collaborative approach to meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); blending official development assistance (ODA) with private and public loans to achieve the SDGs; and building on the EU-ACP Cotonou agreement.

It was acknowledged that pre-requisites for an enabling environment included the basic legal, regulatory and policy frameworks, as well as supporting political, socio-cultural and economic factors.  In her intervention, Ms Nazrene Mannie (Business Unity South Africa) reaffirmed the commitment of business to playing its full role: “Business is a committed stakeholder in development and continues to work alongside partners and governments to shape an enabling environment for the private sector to contribute to development.”

Ms Fatoumata Niang Niox, Executive Director of Jokkolabs and member of the National Council of Employers of Senegal, highlighted the importance of policy coherence in achieving the SDGs and the need for interventions and finance to support SMEs, local businesses and entrepreneurs/start-ups.

Ms María Camila Agudelo, from the Colombian employers' organisation ANDI, moderated the working group discussions on blending and the European Investment Plan (EIP).  Mr Wahab Bakar, from the Malaysian employers' federation MEF, and Mr Amath Ba, from the National Council of Employers of Senegal, intervened on issues concerning an enabling environment, domestic resource mobilisation, and migration.

The IOE’s ongoing participation in the PFD meetings, both global and regional, aims to ensure that its members join a multi-stakeholder venue to exchange experiences and discuss EU development issues, the role of CSOs and the private sector.  The EU’s External Investment Plan (EIP) reflects the IOE’s own aspirations to contribute to inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development, and so tackle some of the root causes of irregular migration.  However, the EIP needs to ensure consistent consultations with the local private sector; and focus on fostering a sustainable business climate overall, as well as on building upon local private sector processes to build productive capacities.

The private sector participants were supported at the meeting by the IOE-EU Projects Manager, Ms Anetha Awuku.

Please note the following PFD-related dates for the diary:

  • European Development Days: Brussels, 5-6 June 2018
  • European Partnership Forum: Brussels, 25 - 26 June 2018
  • Next Policy Forum on Development Regional Meeting: Gaborone, Botswana, 9-11 October 2018
  • Next Policy Forum on Development National Meeting: Indonesia, end of November 2018.

Please contact Anetha directly if you have any questions or comments.

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