Private sector partnership vital for poverty eradication
Port Vila – 12 February 2010 - Working in partnership with the private sector can lift more people out of poverty and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and moral leadership has a key role to play in this, Mark Ingram, Chief Executive Officer of Business for Millennium Development said today.
“We should not be talking about reducing poverty, instead we should be talking about eliminating poverty, and in order to do that market forces must be channeled to the poor – and this is where the private sector comes into play,” he said.
Mr. Ingram said that the 500 million lifted out of poverty over the past 20 years have principally come out of poverty through China, India and South East Asia, unleashing the potential of their people through access to technologies and markets in the developed world.
“What is needed to reach the MDGs is a repeat of this phenomenon but over a wider base of the world’s economic pyramid,” he said.
Mr. Ingram said that mobile banking was one way to unleash the potential of the poor and added that the cost of remittances could be reduced significantly if mobile phones could be used to send remittances. He also added that the Pacific had a rich biodiversity and this could unearth the potential in the Pacific.
He emphasized that business leaders had to exercise moral leadership in order to ensure that the poor get a fair deal.
“It takes moral leadership on the part of business leaders to sacrifice profit and be prepared to enter into partnership with the poor on an equitable basis.”
Private sector partnership has been highlighted by many Pacific leaders today as one of the actions needed to address current and future financial and economic crises and protect the vulnerable.
The conference has been organized by the Government of Vanuatu with support from the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the University of the South Pacific.