Greater developmental role for private sector urged


<p style="text-align: justify;">New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs Murray McCully has called for wider private sector involvement in development initiatives.<!--more--> He said the private sector needed to be involved in consultations and in decisions affecting economic policy.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Mr McCully was addressing delegates attending the Private Sector Dialogue on the margins of the 40th Pacific Islands Forum summit. This is the third time that the dialogue was held after Forum leaders decided to include the private sector as a major developmental stakeholder at the Cairns summit two years ago, in line with the recommendations of the Pacific Plan.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The new thrust of the New Zealand government’s aid programme was aimed at “big, chunky projects that encourage private sector involvement and development,” Mr McCully said.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The government’s State Sector Partnership Programme had also helped New Zealand share its expertise with island nations. The country’s police force, quarantine agencies and other departments were already working in concert with their counterparts in the islands, he said.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Referring to the longstanding trade imbalance between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, he said New Zealand wanted to see more containers coming back full of merchandise from the islands – and that the private sector could play a role in that.</p>