Business and Development

So here’s a theme – Business, Trade and Development.

Thanks to Lisa for the inspiration

For some time there has been a push to liberalize developing country economies. (see World Bank, World Development Report 1997) However, the effect of liberalization was has not always been stellar and implementation was tough to get right. (see Deraniyagal S. and Ben Fine, New Trade Theory v. Old Trade Theory 2001) There has also been a push towards regional trade blocks as a way of giving developing countries regional markets to work with. But, even this has it’s obstacles, (see: Ernest Aryeetey, Regional Integration in West Africa 1998 or Yongzheng Yang and Sanjeev Gupta 2005)

Does trade cause growth or the other way around, who knows? Nevertheless, the idea that an economy can get itself to the point where it can sustain necessary government expenditure is very attractive.

Below find some links to articles and programs on the subject.

BBC has an article on the African leaders meeting in London before the Gleneagles G8 Summit. At one point they discuss how improving customs procedures can ensure development happens. If customs officers reduce corruption and increase efficiency it will liberate the economic returns of a country.

They also have an article about the Mano River Bridge connecting Sierra Leone and Liberia. During the war it was used to move weapons. The re-opening of this bridge will hopefully be a step towards merging the two economies.

ODI has a piece on the launch of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa’s first project. 9 million will go to the Rwanda Investment Climate Project. The target areas are: 1 Help the government establish a commercial court. 2 Create a Rwanda Commercial Registration Services Agency to implement a business registration system. 3 Helping Rwanda improve its land titling and registration system.

Business in Development is an organization that tries to link investors to small businesses. Here is an excerpt from their website.

‘The Private sector is the backbone of any economy. This is of key importance for economic development and poverty reduction in developing countries. To stimulate economic development we aim to tackle two problems:

The ‘deal- flow’ problem: over large geographical distances it is hard to find, identify and verify good business propositions in developing countries. Quality business plans and their entrepreneurs need to be made visible and accessible.

The ‘missing middle’ problem: There is a financing gap between $5.000 and $500.000 (where microfinance stops and commercial finance starts) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries.

Our mission is to tackle these two problems. We have created the BiD Network and the BiD Challenge to support SMEs in developing countries.’

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