Presentation at the Launch of the Growing Inclusive Markets Report

08 Jul 2008

Presentation by

Mahmood A. Ayub

UNDP Resident Representative, Turkey

 

Ms Dilek Yardim
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to begin by welcoming you all to the launch of this important Growing Inclusive Markets Report.

I would like to thank TUSIAD for joining us in this event and for providing support for this launch.

Ladies and Gentlemen

By now there is very little doubt that sustained economic growth is essential to greater employment and reduction of absolute poverty.

However, there is also mounting evidence that it is not just the rate of economic growth but also the pattern of growth that makes a difference for poverty reduction. There is a growing awareness that inadequate attention has been paid to how to make growth more pro-poor, more inclusive, more equitable and more sustainable.

For example, a recent study by the Independent Evaluation Department of the World Bank found that strategies designed by the World Bank solely to boost overall growth often missed opportunities to reduce poverty effectively. In countries where growth was concentrated in sub-sectors with low labor absorption and where few of the poor could work, growth did not result in poverty reduction.

Another fact on which there is no longer any debate is that the private sector is absolutely critical to higher growth which is also inclusive, and which results in poverty reduction.

The Growing Inclusive Markets Report that we are launching here today reflects the conviction of UNDP that the private sector is critical for investment and innovation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The inspiration for this report came from the 2004 report prepared by the UN Commission on the Private Sector and Development entitled Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor. It was prepared at the request of the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to come up with analysis and ideas to involve the private sector more effectively in creating value for the poor.

The report that we are examining today—the first in a series—is an attempt to convert ideas and analysis into action through a dialogue with the private sector, the government and civil society. It is a concrete contribution of 50 case studies, based on the work of developing country academics and a diverse advisory group of institutions with expertise in the private sector’s role in development.

These case studies examine businesses that have successfully included the poor in their core activities. They demonstrate how opportunities were identified, how constraints were overcome, and how innovations were achieved. These snapshots of success can be seen as practical guides and inspiration. Each case is a real and remarkable story.

Thankfully and mercifully, we have moved beyond the debates of the 1970s and 1980s about the conflicting roles of the private sector and the public sector. We no longer talk about private sector versus public sector, but of private public partnerships.

We no longer talk about the size of the state but of the efficiency and capability of the state to play its role in the development process.

The experience of countries with successful, inclusive growth, especially in East Asia, indicate that the role of the government in these countries was very clearly defined.

·        The state helped the poor by enabling them to develop their human capital, through efficient programs in education, health and skills development.

·        The state provided the necessary infrastructure and basic utilities and ensured that the poor are legally empowered.

·        It helped provide the legal, regulatory and institutional framework that removed barriers and facilitated doing business by the private sector.

·        And the state ensured fair competition and provided social protection for the most vulnerable groups in the society.

On its part, the private sector played its role by

·        Creating and diffusing innovations, through innovative technologies and processes.

·        Supplying consumer goods and services, thus bringing more choices and opportunities to the poor.

·        Playing its corporate social responsibility role, in the areas of social development, microfinance, and environment.

At the end of the day, neither the state nor business alone can achieve inclusive growth. The report before you recommends that business, government, civil society and the poor must work together for the most effective results.

I sincerely hope that you will find the presentation of the report by my colleague, Ms Beth Jenkins helpful in sharing with you the concrete examples of successful private public partnerships in other countries.

Turkey is blessed with a very large, vibrant and successful private sector. Many of the companies of TUSIAD are involved in corporate social responsibility projects with the UNDP—and the UN more generally—in the areas of youth and women empowerment, child protection, climate change and sustainable development, and so on. I hope this report will provide us concrete guidance in scaling up our collaboration even more in the future.

Preparing this report has been a collaborative effort across different countries and continents.

I thank you for coming today and wish you all a very useful seminar.