MCC CEO Gives Keynote Address at U.S. Chamber Annual Global Conference
Yohannes says government must align business interests with development objectives
Washington, D.C.—Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Chief Executive Officer Daniel W. Yohannes offered the opening keynote address today at the Global Corporate Citizenship Conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Civic Leadership Center. The conference theme, “Frontier Markets. Global Partnerships. Local Solutions,” builds on the Obama Administration’s new Global Development Policy, which calls for greater cooperation between the U.S. Government and the private sector to stimulate economic growth.
“As part of the President’s new policy, MCC is committed to transitioning countries from development assistance to private sector-led economic growth. MCC’s business-like model funds financially-viable programs that aim to yield better development outcomes and build local capacity, so our partner countries can attract private investment,” said Mr. Yohannes.
Mr. Yohannes, who spent his career in the banking and finance industries before joining the Obama Administration, emphasized that private enterprise is indispensable to sustainable economic growth in developing countries.
“One of my top strategies for achieving MCC’s mission of reducing global poverty through economic growth is to engage, partner with, and leverage the expertise of the private sector. The reason is simple: foreign assistance on its own, while an important complement, will never be the engine for widespread economic growth,” said Mr. Yohannes.
Looking ahead, MCC is committed to facilitating private sector partnerships with MCC compact countries to achieve the greatest impact it can in the fight against global poverty. This means engaging the private sector along with the whole community of non-governmental and non-traditional actors, looking at the role small- and medium-sized companies—not just the large multinationals—can play in development, strengthening the climate for local entrepreneurship, and pursuing more innovative solutions. In El Salvador, thousands of households in the country’s poor and rural Northern Zone have access to electricity for the first time because the Salvadoran government, MCC, and Virginia-based AES Corporation combined efforts on a $33 million project.
MCC’s investments in Ghana which span the entire agriculture value chain—from farmer technical training, to access-to-credit, to roads, to cold storage before international shipment—have become a magnet for business investment in Ghana. Chiquita, for example, has begun sourcing shipments of pineapples to Europe from MCC-supported farms in Ghana.
“We also want to see more American companies compete successfully in emerging and frontier markets where we operate. I am personally committed to doing everything I can to promote the competitiveness of American businesses in these markets,” said Mr. Yohannes.
Following his speech at the Global Corporate Citizenship Conference, Mr. Yohannes hosted a public outreach meeting at MCC Headquarters to report on the September 15th MCC Board of Directors meeting. He also highlighted MCC’s participation in the Millennium Development Goals Summit and the United Nations General Assembly in New York City last week. Mr. Yohannes and members of MCC’s senior staff highlighted results from MCC’s compact in Honduras which recently came to a successful close. For additional details about the recent MCC Board meeting, please click here.
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Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth. For more information, please visit www.mcc.gov.
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BCLC is a 501(c) 3 affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and promotes better business and society relations. BCLC brings together business and civic leaders to foster complementary economic, environmental, and social goals that help build long-term community competitiveness and success.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.