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Africa: International Assistance

International Development written question – answered on 26th March 2008.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the potential role of international companies in promoting development in Africa; and what steps he is taking to promote and co-ordinate such involvement.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Parliamentary Under-Secretary(Department for International Development) (Trade Policy) (also Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Trade and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for International Development), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

International companies have a key role in contributing towards development and economic growth in Africa through investment, job creation and their contribution to Government revenues by paying taxes.

The UK Government work with developing country governments and international agencies to create an environment that supports the growth of business by supporting reforms that allow markets to work with greater efficiency and fairness. The UK Government also promote adherence to the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises which set out the standards on issues such as employment and industrial relations, the environment and corruption that OECD governments expect business to adhere to when they invest overseas.

Companies can also use their core business to deliver better development outcomes. The Department for International Development (DFID) is working with companies that have signed up to the Prime Minister's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Call to Action to develop concrete initiatives which apply core business, skills, and expertise to enhance growth and wealth creation to help meet the MDGs.

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