28 February 2017
Nirj Deva MEP champions the role for private business in development.
Speaking during a Joint Meeting of the Development – Foreign Affairs – Budget Committees on the External Investment Plan, Nirj Deva MEP, Conservative Spokesman for Development and Vice-Chair of the Development Committee, said:
“Fifteen years ago, when I first started championing the role of the private sector in development, I was met with incredulity and fright. Today, the role of the private sector in creating wealth is no longer out of bounds in the development community.”
Following up on Mr Deva’s report on the Private Sector and Development, adopted by the European Parliament plenary in April last year, the Commission has now launched the External Investment Plan (EIP) for Africa and the Neighbourhood. For a start, €3.1 billion will be mobilised by the Commission, in order to leverage at least €62 billion in investments and partnerships, with the private sector.
Nirj Deva, Rapporteur on the ‘Private Sector and Development’ report and on the legislation related to the European Investment Bank, Mr Deva outlined the historic opportunity that the External Investment Plan represents:
“I have spent eighteen years in this committee, time in which we have spent four hundred billion euros in grants in developing countries. In our thirty-six years of development cooperation, we have spent seven hundred billion euros in aid; if we would have leveraged all that money in further investments we would have generated at least seven trillion in investment.
A wise man once said, ‘give a man a fish and he will eat today; teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime’.
This is exactly what we are doing right now. With a Marshall plan for Africa, the continent has the chance to become a strong and competitive market.
I am very happy and proud that the Commission is finally taking my initiative forward. Let’s not dumb down our achievements; let’s make sure we get this right.”
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