Thank you so much, Peter, for that introduction!
It’s an honor to be joined this afternoon by President Guebuza and the distinguished members of the delegation from Mozambique. Welcome to Washington and to MCC headquarters!
Before entering public service, I was a businessman, and I welcome being among colleagues from the private sector, and thank you for joining us this afternoon for what is “a first” for the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
This is the first time that we have organized an Investment and Procurement Forum to coincide with the signing of a compact, and many thanks to the generosity of our
- main sponsor, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and all our other sponsors represented by their logos
- and our co-host, the Business Council for International Understanding and their President and CEO Peter Tichansky,
for working with us to make this event possible.
It is fitting that as President Guebuza and his delegation gather in town for tomorrow’s signing at the State Department of the Mozambique-MCC compact, we should also gather here today to discuss the business and investment opportunities in Mozambique in general, and particularly because of this compact. The panelists, who presented earlier, offered great insights into those opportunities.
While the Mozambique-MCC compact will target almost $507 million in development assistance to reduce poverty and stimulate growth in Mozambique by
- improving water systems,
- bettering roads,
- expanding land-use rights,
- preventing the collapse of the coconut industry
- and providing new growth opportunities in agriculture,
it is, quite frankly, not enough. Poor societies will not emerge from poverty and create their own wealth through foreign aid alone. Our assistance is important and will help, but it must be delivered in a way that enables entrepreneurship and promotes the creative enterprise of
- and companies.
Because MCC is strategic about which countries we invest in, we make it possible for the business community to make its own strategic investments.
Indonesia’s Finance Minister said it best when she argued that MCC’s real draw is its “good housekeeping seal of approval” and the powerful signal it sends to private investors. She said that, for her, it is not only about the money, but about the recognition that her government is doing the right thing.
Our model is results-driven, and we have a fiduciary responsibility to American taxpayers to invest their money wisely in our partner countries around the world. We are fulfilling the mandate given to us by the U.S. Congress when they created MCC in 2004. And, only with Congress’s support for sufficient funding will MCC be able to continue to fulfill our mission throughout the world.
MCC is a bilateral, American program—our grants are rewards for countries that are doing the right things for the right reasons. MCC rewards good government, good governance, countries that invest in their people, and provide economic freedom—all of this being the foundation upon which we can build programs for the reduction of poverty and sustained economic growth.
How MCC enables the private sector
We want the private sector to look closely at what MCC is doing and, as a result, take notice of what is happening in our partner countries, including in Mozambique. MCC investments are helping to create an improved
- and policy environment
that is conducive to initiating or expanding your own activities in these countries. Let me highlight 3 key ways MCC is building a pro-business climate among our partner countries.
First, because we demand performance on indicators evaluating
- and trade conditions,
we create a powerful incentive for countries to foster a business climate where the private sector can flourish and can do business. The indicators MCC uses to determine country eligibility emphasize
- the rule of law,
- predictability in regulatory and legal procedures,
- the enforceability of contracts,
- and the protection of intellectual property rights.
These are all essential factors in creating and protecting an environment in our partner countries that fosters foreign direct investment.
MCC has approved worldwide grants totaling almost $4 billion, over half of which is slated for Africa.
In Benin, we are improving operations and infrastructure at the Port of Contonou that will lower operational costs and increase the volume of merchandise traffic.
In Ghana, we are funding post-harvest handling facilities for fruits and vegetables to prepare them for export.
In Mali, we are investing in the industrial park at the Bamako airport that will boost agricultural exports.
In Mozambique, as you have heard today, private sector operations will manage our investments in water and sanitation. Improvements in land tenure will benefit investors by reducing the
- and risk
associated with access to land through more efficient and transparent administrative processes. This becomes another incentive to invest and will increase asset values.
Second, because we reject corruption and insist on transparency, we address a key impediment to doing business. MCC is the only donor that currently ties eligibility for our assistance to performance on a transparent and public Control of Corruption indicator. This has raised the profile of corruption as a policy issue and created a powerful incentive for reform and capacity building.
Third, because we believe a country’s sustainable development depends on the economic activity and investment led by the private sector, we seek ways to partner with business throughout the process, from developing compacts through implementation.
Toward this goal, I have created a Private Sector Initiatives unit within MCC to recommend specific ways to encourage private sector-led economic development and to cultivate further relationships with the private sector. Prior to compact signing, we encourage the private sector to
- participate in the consultative process in a country,
- provide input for what is needed most,
- and help evaluate the feasibility of proposed compacts.
Upon compact signing and as countries begin implementing their MCC funding, we invite the private sector to consider procurement opportunities for country-specific projects or to pursue complementary projects to the ones made possible through MCC compact funding.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal advocated that the best way countries in Africa could help themselves develop is by “unleashing investment and opening up to the private sector.” We agree.
Having you, the private sector, engaged and leveraging MCC assistance to support your own activities helps
- to create jobs,
- to create new markets for products and services,
- to create innovations in business processes,
- and to create new possibilities for business ventures
and that creates the best and most sustainable hope for lifting communities out of poverty. At MCC, we are creating business climates and conditions that make sense for your involvement; and we want to work with you, in Mozambique and in all our MCC partner countries worldwide.
We believe that the Millennium Challenge Corporation will be most successful in improving the lives of the poor when we are, so to speak, no longer in business, and our aid has been replaced by private capital flows. We welcome your partnership to make this a reality.
Introduction of James Hackett
It is now my pleasure to introduce a man who understands the importance of partnerships. James Hackett is the
- and CEO
of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, one of the world’s largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies, a position he has held since 2003.
A graduate of the University of Illinois and Harvard University’s MBA program, Mr. Hackett’s career is synonymous with the energy and oil industry. He was previously President and CEO of
- Devon Energy Corporation,
- Ocean Energy,
- and Seagull Energy Corporation.
Anadarko is doing business in Mozambique, and particularly in those parts of the country where MCC’s investments will make a difference. I am sure that others interested in doing business in Mozambique can benefit greatly from Anadarko’s experiences there.
It is my pleasure to welcome Jim to the podium. Jim…