March 7, 2013
Ottawa—The Harper Government will broaden and deepen its engagement with the private sector in order to achieve sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in developing countries, reiterated the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, today upon the tabling of the Government's response to Driving Inclusive Economic Growth: The Role of the Private Sector in International Development.
"Canada can help stimulate private sector-led sustainable economic growth that can lift people out of poverty," said Minister Fantino. "In line with this report, the Harper Government will continue to promote private sector partnerships in development, in turn spurring business growth, creating jobs, and generating tax revenues that fund basic social services."
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) works to assist its development partners to create the conditions for strong and sustainable private sector-led growth through CIDA's Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy. The strategy's three paths—building economic foundations, growing businesses, and investing in people—target the main prerequisites to achieving private sector-led sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
In the response, the Government wholeheartedly agrees with the committee's conclusion that "private companies can contribute to long-term poverty reduction" in developing countries. Consistent with the report, the Government of Canada will examine ways to leverage private sector resources (recommendations 1 to 4), innovation, and know-how to help move people in developing countries from poverty to prosperity. The Government will also work to deepen and broaden its efforts in sustainable economic growth (recommendations 5 and 6), and to help developing countries capitalize on opportunities in the responsible development of their natural resources (recommendations 7 to 10) and financial services sectors (recommendations 11 to 14) to maximize development results. Ultimately, the Government of Canada wants to help families in developing countries have increased access to food, health-care, education and better quality of life.
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The Government of Canada is committed to working with the private sector to support international development. In tabling its official response to the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Driving Inclusive Economic Growth: The Role of the Private Sector in International Development, the Government of Canada commits to strengthening and engaging the private sector as a partner in development.
Some examples of how the Government of Canada is strengthening the role of the private sector as a partner in development include:
- Bringing together partner governments, donors, the private sector and civil society, so that the voices of all, in particular those living in poverty in developing countries, can contribute to informing and improving effective development cooperation.
- Canada is also a significant contributor to the G-8 New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition, which aims to attract private investment for inclusive agricultural growth that will raise 50 million Africans out of poverty over the next 10 years. To date, 21 African and 27 multinational companies have signed letters of intent to make investments along the entire agricultural value chain—from farm to table.
- CIDA supports Trade Facilitation Office Canada and the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) to improve the export competitiveness and readiness of 50 small and medium-sized businesses in Bolivia, Burkina Faso and Guyana. Particular attention is placed on women-led businesses.
- CIDA supports CESO to bring skilled Canadian volunteers to small and medium-sized businesses, associations, civil society organizations and government entities in nine countries. The volunteers foster the growth of the private sector.
- CIDA also supports the Canada Investment Fund for Africa, which provides risk capital to support investment in Africa across several sectors of the economy.
- CIDA supports Trade Facilitation Office Canada and CESO, working with BrandAid, to rebuild exports from Haiti's artisanal craftwork sector following the effects of the 2010 earthquake.
- CIDA is collaborating with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) to build agricultural opportunities and rural enterprise in Ethiopia. By focusing on high-potential products such as rice and hand-woven textiles, the project expects to improve livelihoods for 10,000 rural households or 50,000 people.
- CIDA is partnering with the oil, gas and mining industries to bolster the effectiveness of international assistance and support sustainable economic growth in countries where responsible resource development can play a role in reducing poverty.
- The Government of Canada has partnered with the University of British Columbia, working in a coalition with Simon Fraser University, to establish and operate the Canadian International Institute on Extractive Industries and Development. The institute will serve as a centre of world-class expertise in strengthening resource governance, and will help developing-country governments use and benefit from their extractive industries in ways that stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty.
- CIDA's contribution to a project with the World University Service of Canada is helping local governments to improve education and access to clean water for more than 130,000 Ghana residents in 12 mining communities. The project is co-financed by Rio Tinto Alcan.
- CIDA's contribution to a project in Peru with World Vision Canada is helping 1,000 families to benefit more from the community's share of mining revenue. The project is co-financed by Barrick Gold.
- CIDA is working with Plan Canada to help approximately 10,000 youths in Burkina Faso receive training and job skills in various sectors including sales, tourism, carpentry, mechanics and mining. The project is co-financed by IAMGOLD.
- CIDA recently announced a strategic partnership with Grand Challenges Canada to scale up promising innovations in the area of global health, many of which are generated by social entrepreneurs.
- CIDA has supported an innovative financing approach, the Advance Market Commitment, hosted by the GAVI Alliance, that brings the public and private sectors together to develop and deliver much-needed vaccines to treat pneumococcal disease—a leading cause of child deaths in developing countries.
- The Government of Canada supports the G-20 AgResults Initiative, an innovative finance mechanism that promotes competition among private sector actors to cultivate and market agricultural technologies that improve food security in developing countries.