Private sector development in developing countries

Nine of ten jobs in developing countries are in the private sector. This shows how important private sector development is for value creation and employment. Support for private sector development is an important part of Norwegian development cooperation.

Most of Norway's efforts to promote private sector development focus on:

  • increasing investments in poor countries
  • strengthening trade conditions for and export capacity in developing countries
  • combating illicit financial flows
  • promoting an enabling environment for private sector development in developing countries, for example through improved governance and administration and a stronger legal system.

Funding for this work is channelled through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norad, Norfund and FK Norway, as well as through a large number of actors from civil society, the business sector and multilateral organisations.

White paper on private sector development

The main goal for Norway's development policy is to reduce poverty. Private sector development is an important means of achieving this, and a priority area for the Government.

A white paper on private sector development, Working together: Private sector development in Norwegian development cooperation (Meld. St. 35 (2014–2015)), was presented to the Storting in June 2015.

The importance of economic growth

During the past 20 years, the proportion of people living below the global poverty rate of USD 1.25 a day has been halved, with particular progress being made in China and India. This means that 700 million people's lives have improved. And the reason is clear: economic growth.

However, about half of the people in the world still live on less than two dollars a day. With the rapidly growing population in poor countries, unemployment – particularly among young people – is a major challenge. According to the World Bank, 600 million new jobs will be needed in Africa and Asia by 2020.

Would you like to know more about private sector development? Contact the Section for Economic and Commercial Affairs in the Ministry.

IFC jobs study

  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) jobs study, Assessing private sector contributions to job creation and poverty reduction, is available here.