Proof is piling up that private sector finance is not an easy development fix

While formal talks at the July UN financing for development summit in Ethiopia were deadlocked, World Bank executives, investors, and developing country officials gathered in Addis Ababa’s best hotels to eat canapés, drink wine and discuss how best to “leverage” private finance into public services and infrastructure in developing countries using public-private partnerships (PPPs).

This benign-sounding investment model is on the up but it also carries some big risks that development analysts and advocates are only just starting to comprehend. Here in the UK, where the PPP model was first invented, the true costs are coming home to roost. Cash-strapped NHS trusts are now paying the private sector a record £2bn a year for fees for the construction and operation of hospitals under the private finance initiative (PFI), and several are facing bankruptcy because of these exorbitant costs.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also called for a special safeguard mechanism in agriculture for developing countries. Photo: Bloomberg

Food security: US, EU rule out permanent solution for public stock holding programmes

During a meeting with African leaders last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pitched for a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security

Geneva: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an outcome on public stockholding programmes for food security at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ministerial meeting next month in Nairobi has almost been spiked after the US, the European Union, Canada and Australia ruled out any change from the existing interim arrangement.

That temporary solution was hammered out between the US and India last year. The two sides also agreed they would negotiate a permanent solution along with other members of WTO by the 10th ministerial meeting, which is now beginning on 15 December in Nairobi.

During a meeting with African leaders last month, Modi said, “We should achieve a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security and the special safeguard mechanism in agriculture for developing countries.”

G77+China grouping opposes draft for Paris meet

Talks under threat if draft is not revised to include their issues on Monday itself
Nitin Sethi | New Delhi
October 19, 2015

A storm of anger from developing countries gathered strength at the over the weekend, ahead of the formal launch of the negotiations on Monday.

One hundred and thirty-four developing countries, under the G77+China umbrella group, rejected the controversial draft of the agreement for the Paris talks, due in November.

A leading voice of the G77 group+China said on condition of anonymity: “G77 & China group met today and have concluded that the (draft Paris deal) text is unbalanced and that the co-chairs have failed to fulfill their mandate to take into account the views of developing countries.”

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NGO calls on Indonesia to reject upcoming WTO meeting

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Indonesian government should reject the upcoming World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting as it is irrelevant for the global economy, an organisation on global trade and investment has said.

Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ) research and monitoring manager Rachmi Hertanti said on Thursday that the WTO “is prone to accommodating the interests of giant powers. Lobbying often takes place with only several developed countries and their allies. Trade-offs of interests are done under the table.”

The WTO’s 10th meeting, scheduled on Dec 15-18 in Nairobi, Kenya, would follow up the unsolved market access for the least developing countries (LDCs) and facilitation issues, and also achieving a permanent solution for a public stockholding proposal.

If the meeting were to take place, Rachmi said Indonesia should push its agenda on food security and defend its agricultural interest from developed countries.

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