BY HYUNGKYOO KIM
I would like to take the privilege of sharing some of my personal take on this matter. When we think of sustainable development I believe that the development models have to come from the localpeople for it to work or be sustainable, I have spent a quite a longer time in Nepal and I feel this special connection with Nepal but yet I am a foreigner, and the way I see Nepal is different than the way any other Nepalis sees. However, coming back to the context it is now high time that the role of private sector has to be revised and enhanced and be seen from various angels. For any kind of development goals be it good health, quality education, wellbeing, gender equality etc., to ensure the achievement of these historically ambitious goals, alternative and innovative efforts are necessary, particularly in developing countries.
In country like Nepal I see immense role of Private sector for the sustainable development. It is not that things are not happening. The only thing is that, we have to see the possibility of channelizing all the scattered efforts in order to make a powerful impact in the development of Nepal. Responsive partnership between government, private sector and donors is what we require. So we, the government, private sector, donors should be prepared enough to take risks create opportunity via taking up new challenges and jointly contributing towards nation building.
I personally have witnessed my country Korea becoming an aid giving country from Aid recipient country. This is a living example that smart use of investment could change the fate of the country and its people. The government that time used the money to accomplish a self-supporting economy, it invested the limited resources in import substitution, infrastructure, heavy industry as catalyst for the trade promotion, industry and businesses. And the government motivated industrial sector by providing the policy loan with special interest rates to promote domestic investment. Even it tried to attract the remittances from abroad to accumulate the needed foreign currencies by making a special program of giving the labor’s families Korean won instead of USD with higher exchange rate. Those efforts became the cornerstones which Samsung, LG, Hyundai, KIA build their success on. Due to the successful forming of the collaborative and productive scheme between public and private sector, Korea and Korean people have been enjoying the sustainable growth.
Likewise, we need to make sure that, if we cannot mobilize enough resource to cover all the development challenges, the development investment should be channeled to trigger creating jobs, developing technologies, enabling local firms to access international markets by boosting domestic business and industry that has positive and long-term self-reliant development effects.
Public sectors should encourage private sectors especially the business companies to be engaged in development activities` not by just requesting philanthropic contribution, but by introducing the term of smart investment where there will be win-win situation for ALL
I believe that private sector is an alternative solution that could take Nepal from developing country to developed country list, it has the potential of changing the fate of Nepal, With the country’s changing structure towards federalism, the role as well as intervention of private sector becomes more viable and immense, it has the capacity of changing economic scenario of the country via creating jobs, increasing economic activity, domestic production promoting domestic consumption, which would in turn support in retaining the high number of migrating youths with in the country and increase the tendency of achieving economic efficiency.
Similarly, government should also think of having new investment models which can helpmobilize financial resources to meet the challenges that hinder the development process. Blended finance –- using public funds strategically to provide, de-risking instruments for private investors –- can dramatically improve the scale of investment in development. Blended finance offers huge, largely untapped potential for public, philanthropic and private actors to work together to dramatically improve the scale of investment in developing countries. Its potential lies in its ability to remove bottlenecks that prevent private investors from targeting sectors and countries that urgently need additional investment. To accelerate social and economic progress towards sustainable development, blended finance needs to be scaled up, but in a systematic way that avoids certain risks.
Governments also have to create conditions that favor good investment. A strong enabling environment, with laws and regulations that are clear and readily accessible for all, and that don’t impose unnecessary bureaucratic burdens, can be a critical factor in boost the environment for responsible investment.
The private sector can be a powerful actor in promoting sustainable development in ways that go far beyond funding. Companies provide jobs, infrastructure, innovation and social services, among others. Development co-operation can help unlock the potential of such investment. Sound public policies and good governance across the board play a crucial role in shaping the quality of investment.
By organizing this kind of workshop, we are trying to bring all the actors in one page so that we all could think of creative solutions that could guide all of us towards the ultimate goal of development which is sustainable, I believe that the declaration that has been read out today will be a guiding tool for all of us here to be more responsible and take proactive action that will lead the development activities in Nepal,
Having said all this, I hereby announce the end of today’s workshop Thank you very much.
(Excerpts of the address by Kim, country director of KOICA Nepal Office, at a workshop on “Role of Private sector in sustainable development in Nepal”.)
Role of Private sector in sustainable development in Nepal
BY HYUNGKYOO KIM