Friday, 2 July 2010

Make Poverty History through Trade and Investment

Make Poverty History is an idea that has been picked up by nearly every agency working in developing countries whether they are charities, NGO’s or development agencies. However the slogan has become so closely related to charity and foreign aid, that I fear the wider picture has been forgotten. Make Poverty History is even more relevant for the Growth agenda, for CBC we are trying to make poverty history though trade and investment. I am glad to support the work of the multi party parliamentary group, Trade out of Poverty, who are dedicated to this agenda and aim to help the world’s poorest countries trade their way to a better life.

It is my feeling that we too often forget that the only sustainable way to eliminate poverty is to ensure that the local government is responsible for its achievement. This does not mean that we don’t have a responsibility to eliminate poverty, quite the opposite; I feel it is all of our responsibilities to support the governments in their mission to eliminate poverty.

Growth is the only tool that can eliminate poverty, aid alone will never achieve this, and developing countries must develop their economic infrastructure, which will in turn increase their tax revenues allowing greater investment in the engines of growth. It is the responsibility those outside the country to support the government’s efforts in this regard, whether it be refocusing aid to help in the strengthening of business environment or facilitating private sector investment in big infrastructure projects.

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