The role of the private sector in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the Indo-Pacific region

30 Jun 2014

This submission was provided to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade to inform them on the context of private sector engagement in the Pacific island region.

Summary of key points

  • Private sector growth is a key contributor to alleviating poverty 
  • Interventions to promote growth must promote inclusivity and minimise risks associated with inequality 
  • The private sector already ‘does’ development and has a shared interest in achieving ‘development outcomes’ 
  • In order that aid can be used effectively and achieve value for money, donors need to be fully apprised of the context(s) in which they seek to operate 
  • The private sector of the Pacific is not the same as the private sector of Australia 
  • The private sector of one Pacific island country may differ significantly from the private sector of another Pacific island country owing to a number of factors 
  • Interventions to support private sector growth in the Pacific island region should focus on ‘home-grown’ businesses not on businesses located in Australia 
  • To develop the private sector, a diversity of markets needs to be identified and the significance of domestic markets should not be overlooked 
  • There is much that we already know and this knowledge needs to be brokered and leveraged effectively to enhance future activities 
  • To maximise available opportunities and alleviate the burden of transaction costs, bilateral and multilateral donors need to work together strategically 
  • Regional ‘solutions’ should be approached with caution 
  • Opportunities to work with sub-regional groupings should be explored
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