New York City, New York—The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) hosted an event offering a unique opportunity for leading businesses, social entrepreneurs, social responsibility firms, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and representatives from developing countries to engage in discussions intended to lead to greater cooperation and partnership in an effort to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth in the poorest countries of the world.
“MCC’s ultimate success in achieving our mission to reduce poverty depends, in part, on the partnerships we forge with the private sector community,” said MCC Chief Executive Officer Daniel W. Yohannes. “I firmly believe we can find ways to work together to align our missions and business interests with sustainable development objectives. This is how we can all take part in creating a global community of greater opportunity for the poor and vulnerable.”
“The private sector creates jobs and provides essential services that help people in poor countries improve their lives,” said International Finance Corporation Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell. “Coordinating public development efforts with private investment will bring us closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”
Cape Verde Prime Minister José Maria Neves also spoke at the event about Cape Verde’s ability to stimulate economic growth through a $110 million compact with MCC. Cape Verde is the first country to be selected by the MCC Board as eligible to develop a proposal for a second compact grant.
“Cape Verde’s partnership with the MCC has resulted in important contributions to the Economic Transformation Strategy process in our country. It has not only bolstered reforms in vital sectors of the economy, but most importantly, it has produced visible and measurable results that positively impact the lives of Capeverdeans,” said Cape Verde Prime Minster José Maria Neves.
MCC is committed to transitioning countries from development assistance to private sector-led economic growth. One of MCC’s top priorities is to involve the private sector in its operations around the world. MCC is building relationships with the private sector to:
- analyze constraints to commercial activity, trade, and investment, so we are able to analyze solutions that will create investment-ready markets;
- identify commercial opportunities that align with compact projects;
- solicit advice on program design, including new solutions to inefficiencies in doing business and investing;
- facilitate co-investment or parallel investment;
- secure practical advice on designing innovative financing models for specific commercial needs; and
- inform private sector businesses about MCC procurement opportunities, which will amount to $3 billion through 2011.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has an innovative, global focus on private sector development. The UN Global Compact (UNGC), created by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000, is a UN intitaive to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation. Likewise, 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, creating a stronger climate for local entrepreneurship, and pursuing more innovative solutions.
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