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International Assistance: Private Sector

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government have taken to involve private sector organisations in the facilitation of development in developing countries since 1999. (203533)

The UK Government work with developing country governments to support the growth of the private sector in their countries, and we fund a range of initiatives to encourage business to invest in key areas.

We are currently working with major companies on the business call to action and on May 6 we showcased concrete initiatives taken by leading companies to use their core business to promote growth and development.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has helped to establish and provides financing to the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa and the Private Infrastructure Development Group. Jointly with business we support the Investment Climate Facility for Africa, and recently announced the establishment of the International Growth Centre, which will deliver world class research and analytical and policy support to developing countries on growth.

DFID also works directly with individual companies and business organisations to maximise the impact of business on development. The UK Government launched the extractive industries transparency initiative in 2002 and are currently launching two new initiatives to promote transparency in the construction sector and the medicines sector—the construction sector transparency (CoST) initiative and the medicines transparency alliance (MeTA). DFID also supports the ethical trading initiative and the multi-fibre arrangement forum, both of which promote responsible and successful business practices.