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Moving support to developing countries from billions to trillions cannot be done through official grants and lending alone. The bulk of the additional money must come from the private sector. While relatively high yields on projects in developing countries should attract international capital flows, the trends are not positive, and amounts are not at the magnitude needed. MDBs and DFIs are the key intermediaries in accelerating the flow of these funds as they offer to the private sector substantial expertise in finding, framing, financing and evaluating projects in developing countries.
CGD is working with both the private sector financiers and MDB/DFI officials to gather information, formal and informal, to 1) uncover the blockages to increased international capital flows for development; 2) propose concrete changes to MDB/DFI policies and procedures that could facilitate these flows; and 3) open new pathways for the public and private sectors to interact so that private investment in developing countries accelerates.
A key element of the scaling up is how DFIs will use blended finance—traditional market-term financing combined with concessional finance—to speed up investment in riskier projects with more development impact. In this area, the primary questions are:
The roundtable event, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, and organised by ECDPM with the Center for Global Development in Europe, will bring together analysts, development finance practitioners, stakeholders from a spectrum of development finance institutions, and policymakers with a durable public and private finance experience for a series of brief, focused presentations and a constructive, curated discussion.
Lifting the trade and investment embargo on Cuba is a laudable policy objective that would allow Cubans better access to American goods and services. It might also give American businesses a boost, including from places that could do with one, like rural Louisiana. Changing the law will be an uphill struggle unless November’s elections transform Congress. But even if Congress can agree, changes to the law might not be sufficient to convince investors to go to Cuba.
The first thing we should be asking is why now in particular, since conditions have not really changed much in the past few months. For example, back in September, there were large uncertainties in the global economy. China’s economic slowdown was causing alarm. Volatility in international capital markets was high. The appreciation of the US dollar was hurting US exports, which could (yet) mean slower US economic growth. That was not the time for the US Federal Reserve to up interest rates. But now it is – and here’s why.
Emerging market countries that manage to diversify and upgrade their production and export base grow more rapidly and enjoy greater welfare gains than those that do not. Foreign direct investment in manufacturing is concentrated in middle- and upper-skilled activities -- not lowest-skilled operations -- and thus offers many opportunities for structural transformation of the host economy. But the challenge of using FDI to diversify and upgrade the local production and export base is fraught with market failures and tricky obstacles. Contemporary debates about industrial policy as a development tool focus on how best to overcome these market failures and other difficulties.
In two weeks, a teaming mass of world leaders are going to descend on New York to sign up to the Sustainable Development Goals. Among the targets to be met by 2030 are global universal access to water, sanitation, reliable modern energy, and communications technologies. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that meeting these infrastructure targets would involve a trillion or more dollars in additional infrastructure investment in developing countries every year. That begs the question: where is the money going to come from?