George Lodge and Craig Wilson comment on YaleGlobal:
MNC involvement is crucial to poverty reduction for two reasons: First, the reduction of poverty depends on the growth of business, especially small, domestic businesses. And increasingly for a local business to flourish it must have access to the world: to markets, credit, and technology, all facilitated by MNCs. The second reason is less obvious and more controversial: Poverty reduction requires systemic change, and MNCs are the world’s most efficient and sustainable engines of change.
They go on to add:
There is a gap between need and investment. The challenge is to close that gap: to facilitate investment by MNCs in poor regions by minimizing risk, and by making the investment profitable and thus sustainable. To address this challenge, we propose a new institution, the World Development Corporation… The structural problem is that there is no institution with the capability and responsibility to design a coherent business-led approach to poverty reduction in a particular country and to connect it to the essential players: required MNCs, interested NGOs, local business partners, the local government, and multinational development agencies such as the World Bank and the UN.
Read the entire piece (part 2 is about the WDC) for their full recommendations and tell us what you think. I will sound in later. I don’t know Craig personally, but it turns out he works with the IFC in Dhaka – so I promise to try to get him to respond to any questions or feedback. [Tnx Filipo]