11 Feb 11 - Public investment: New partnerships for development are in the making
UNCTAD expert meeting discussed innovative models and identified future opportunities for partnership between public and private investment. Participants called upon UNCTAD to take lead in pulling together all United Nations work in the area.
In the post-crisis era, new models of State-business investment partnership for development are in the making. The third session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Investment for Development, which took place February 2-4 in Geneva, identified key issues of the public-private partnership (PPP) as a viable option for such models, as well as new partnership opportunities going forward.
The meeting emphasized the importance of embedding public investment in a coherent national development framework, sensitive to social progress and public entitlement, not just economic profitability. The role of inclusive democratic decision-making in achieving a national development vision is paramount. This vision needs to be shared by the whole country, and result in a consistent growth strategy.
Regarding the policy options and challenges for PPP in the time ahead, participants noted that new policy challenges in turn open up new opportunities for public-private investment. Such opportunities exist in infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, agricultural R&D as well as in education.
Experts from a number of developing economies requested that UNCTAD convoke a series of meetings, or regional seminars, to disseminate the ideas expressed during this expert meeting. UNCTAD was also requested to undertake research, including on how to raise the interest of developed-country small and medium-sized enterprises in engaging in PPPs, and on how to generate South-South investment in PPPs. UNCTAD was suggested to take the lead in pulling all United Nations work in this area together.