Global leaders call for greater private and public sector development cooperation at private sector forum

Dec 16, 2011

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon addresses the Private Sector Forum at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea.

he Private Sector Forum, held at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan, Republic of Korea, on 30th November 2011, provided a space for eminent private sector representatives, governments, civil society, donor partners and international organisations to make recommendations to boost private sector engagement in development.

“One of the main lessons I have learned over the last five years as Secretary-General is that the United Nations cannot function properly without the support of the business community and civil society. We need to have tripartite support – the governments, the business communities and civil society” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

As part of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre’s role in supporting key global development partnerships, the Centre worked closely with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other key partners in conceptualizing the agenda and organising the event.

Forum speakers included Mr Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, Mr Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General, Mr. Sung-Hwan Kim, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Chang-soo Huh, Chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries and the Swedish Minister for Development Cooperation Ms Gunilla Carlson.

Private sector representatives from around the world shared their experiences, showcasing stories where successful private sector ventures and public-private partnerships have meaningfully contributed to inclusive growth, poverty reduction and development. They engaged in discussions with development partners, including Governments, International Organisations and private foundations to explore ways in which the private sector can further contribute to the development agenda.

Together, participants put forward a series of recommendations, including practical suggestions to boost private sector action and innovation to support development. Many recommendations were included in the HLF-4 Ministerial Plenary Session covering the Building Block on the private sector.

The overall recommendations include:

  • Full recognition of the vital private sector role in development, including in creating jobs.
  • Encouraging companies to expand their frontiers, recognising that the largest markets and growth will be the emerging and “Bottom of the Pyramid” markets.
  • Making public-private collaboration and partnerships more strategic, with earlier private inclusion into planning.
  • Facilitating the discussions between the public and private sectors to enhance the business environment and stimulate innovation and Public-Private Partnerships.
  • Recognising that the profit-motive is an important driver for private sector solutions and encouraging competition that stimulates efficiency through appropriate market incentives, rules and regulations.
  • Building trust between the public and private sectors, including encouraging the private sector to adhere to the highest sustainability and responsibility standards, such as the UN Global Compact principles.
  • Recognizing that through the profit motive, business must be engaged in ways that are specific, focused and that lead to concrete results. The private sector has limited time to engage in broad-ranging development dialogues.
  • Facilitating and improving the mechanisms for the engagement of the public sector and donor community with the private sector at country and global levels.

The Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation placed a strong emphasis on the role of the private sector in development, in recognition of its key role.

The Private Sector Forum was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) of the Republic of Korea, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-BIAC) and the United Nations Global Compact.

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