Job creation and business development crucial in fight against poverty

'Job creation and economic growth are vital for combating poverty. This is why the business development and job creation have been key areas in the Government's development policy since 2013. In the budget for 2017, the Government proposes an allocation of NOK 1.5 billion to Norfund. The Government is also giving priority to vocational training in developing countries,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Since the Government came to power in 2013, it has stepped up efforts to promote economic development and job creation. Job creation and business development are crucial for fighting poverty, building sustainable, stable states and reducing aid dependency.

Since 2013, the Government has also increased its allocation to the development finance institution Norfund by around 25 %. Norfund's task is to support development through profitable, sustainable investments. Altogether, Norfund has invested more than NOK 15 billion in approximately 700 companies in developing countries.

The white paper on business development and job creation, Working Together, underlines the importance of using aid strategically and of mobilising the private sector.

'We must use aid to enable companies to do what they do best: create growth and jobs. This is why we have recently entered into a strategic partnership with the business sector through a letter of intent with the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO). We have also launched a new grant scheme for vocational training in developing countries. We will spend up to NOK 500 million on projects in this area,' said Mr Brende.

'The multilateral development banks are also effective channels for efforts to promote job creation and business development. The Government intends to provide a high level of funding to these banks, and will continue to make active use of Norway's board membership,' Mr Brende added.