Business for Development: Fostering the Private Sector 2007


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This book details the activities of the private sector in developing and emerging economies. It demonstrates how these activities are inter-related with government policies. Understanding these activities and publicprivate interactions is indispensable for allowing the private sector to play its fullest role in a nation’s development process. To this end, several case studies are presented to provide concrete examples from Africa, Asia and elsewhere. Their analysis includes, among others, the opportunities for expanding markets and upgrading skills in global value chains, the regulatory conditions that could best promote private sector development and the respective roles that government, business and donors can play in that process.

This is a must-read book for anyone who is interested in a comprehensive roundup of the ways in which private enterprise development can help economic growth and poverty reduction in poor countries.


Did you know?

> "The Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Service (GRATIS) was created by the government in 1987 with the assistance of two donors, to transfer intermediate technology and promote grass-root industrialisation. GRATIS has provided useful technology services to micro enterprises in Ghana. An indication of the value of the initiative is manifested by its sale of services to other African countries, such as Burkina Faso, Uganda and Mauritania."

- from Chapter 1 -

Chapter 1. Private Sector Development: Concepts and Practices
Private sector development (PSD) has emerged as an increasingly important element in the economic growth of poor countries.
The chapter revisits the debate on the pros and cons of government intervention in PSD and discusses current practices and lessons learned, highlighting the role of enterprise clusters and internal and external linkages between firms and support organisations. Business development service and the promotion of entrepreneurial activities are also discussed.
The conclusions emphasise the importance of taking a coherent approach to policy support through active public-private dialogue.


> "The international fragmentation of production activities into global value chains has resulted in a phenomenal build-up of manufacturing capabilities as well as export growth in many developing countries, not only in traditional labour-intensive manufacturing, but also in more high-tech industries and in services."
- from Chapter 2

Chapter 2.  Export Diversification and Global Value Chains: Lessons from Selected Case Studies

Developing countries face the imperative of diversifying their economic activities from a narrow base of primary commodities into a broader range of manufacturing goods, chiefly of parts and components.
But the experience has not been uniformly positive as greater integration of countries into global value chains (GVCs) carries risks as well as opportunities.
A number of specific instances are examined in depth. These are white goods, or large household appliances, in China, Mexico and Turkey; tourism in Mozambique; film animation in the Philippines; and aircraft in China.

Chapter 3.  Agriculture in Africa: Open for Business?

Agriculture offers African countries substantial opportunities for promoting growth and poverty reduction which would be even more pronounced if subsidies in both developed and major developing countries were to be cut.
Among the factors working against the development of agro-based private sector, this chapter highlights weak productive capacities and insufficient knowledge of markets, resulting in low productivity, high losses in the production process and inability to meet quality standards. Additional problems stem from a difficult access to input, including credit and poorly developed local markets.
The chapter then reviews the actual experience of Tanzania and Zambia and draws several policy conclusions.

> "More than 60 per cent of Africa’s active labour force earns a livelihood in the sector. Agricultural products represent 16 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa exports, but the share of the Continent in world agricultural trade remains below 5 per cent, and 42 out of 53 countries are classified as net food importing developing countries."
- from Chapter 3  -


> "The institutions of corporate governance lie at the heart of one of the greatest challenges that virtually all developing countries now face: how to move successfully from institutions of economic and political governance that tend to be heavily relationship-based to institutions that are more effectively rules-based."

- from Chapter 4 -

Chapter 4.  Corporate Governance for Economic Development

This chapter challenges expressed doubts about whether improving corporate governance should be a priority for countries whose main development objective is to lift large segments of their populations out of poverty.  The evidence shows that corporate governance is of critical importance, in both low and middle-income developing countries, as the bases of local economic and political power in those countries evolve from the relatively closed and personalised to the more open and democratic.
This chapter seeks to clarify the meaning of corporate governance and identify the people and institutions concerned. It explains why corporate governance matters for a nation’s development, not only because it helps raise finance more cheaply but because its absence may hinder productivity growth and restrain long-term development.


Readers will have access the full version of Business for Development: Fostering the Private Sector (2007) choosing from the following options:

• Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access the online edition via SourceOECD, our online library.

• Non-subscribers can browse and/or purchase the PDF e-book and/or paper copy via our Online Bookshop. Order from your local distributor

• Government officials can go to OLISnet's Publication Locator.

• Access by password for accredited journalists.




For further information, journalists are invited to contact Colm Foy (, OECD Development Centre (tel. +33 1 45 24 84 80).


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