A new partnership among the World Bank, the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat, along with the governments of Austria and Switzerland, convened for the first time yesterday, offering the governments of developing countries a new approach to creating jobs by strengthening private sector competitiveness.
The Competitive Industries and Innovation Program (CIIP), a five-year global program that intends to mobilize $100 million, aims to inspire broad-scale reform programs that help unlock the potential for firms and industries to compete successfully in the global marketplace. The program’s partners met today in Brussels at their first Steering Committee Meeting.
The World Bank Group and other development partners already provide valuable support to developing countries in helping strengthen private sector growth. Going beyond the traditional approach of broad policy reforms at the macroeconomic level, and beyond individual investment projects at the micro level, the CIIP turns attention to “the missing middle” by helping countries strengthen the competitiveness and innovation of specific industries.
“To ensure adequate growth, we need to create 600 million jobs over the next 15 years. Many of our client countries have been asking for new solutions to address this challenge. We set up CIIP to precisely address this issue, by encouraging informed and balanced public interventions at the industry level,” said Janamitra Devan, Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development at the World Bank.
CIIP provides 75 percent of its resources directly to World Bank Group task teams to help developing countries pursue market opportunities through targeted, multi-year investment and policy reforms. The program will also allocate 25 percent of its resources to global knowledge generation and dissemination.
The program also defines a new way for the Bank Group in collaboration with other development partners to deliver support– for faster and better results. It involves an active dialogue and effective joint action between the private and public sector that allows policymakers to use private industries as a lens through which to optimize, sequence and motivate industrial and innovation policy reform.
“I am glad to see our partnership with the World Bank on the CIIP turning out as a truly collaborative initiative, where our financial support is complemented up by close collaboration on the ground. For our partner countries this means more relevant and better coordinated support to private sector development,” said Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General, Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, European Commission.
The CIIP partners have set ambitious and concrete development targets for the initiative. By joining forces on the ground and by working closely with the private sector, the partnership intends to focus action on clearly identified tangible results. Among the most important are:
•Growth in private investment and productivity
•Creation and growth of new firms
•Job creation and income generation