DFID launches new Economic Development Strategy

2 Feb 2017

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Rt Hon Priti Patel has launched DFID’s new Economic Development Strategy: prosperity, poverty and meeting global challenges

We are keen to listen to members’ views with regards this new strategy: please email David to input your thoughts.

We are grateful to DFID for pro-actively sharing this strategy with the SMP as it is launched and we will invite DFID to attend our next Business, Trade, Investment and Tourism Forum to update members.

We are keen to welcome the strong reference to SMP members Just Trading Scotland, described as a “cutting edge SME”, with whom DFID is working:

“Just Trading Scotland (JTS) in Paisley facilitates the import and distribution of fairly traded products to the UK. In Malawi, DFID is providing technical advice to JTS and the Kaporo Smallholder Farmers Association to help improve the quantity and quality of their rice crop. Farmers stand to benefit from better market access and JTS will have a better supply of quality rice.”

Box 4, page 13

Key messages of the Strategy:

Advancing economic development in the poorest countries is a hallmark of building Global Britain. It is an essential part of how Britain is helping make globalisation work for all and furthering our national interests by playing a leading role on the international stage.

Life-changing progress comes from growth that transforms economies; that creates productive jobs and private sector investment; and that spreads benefits and opportunities right across society. This is essential to eradicate extreme poverty, deliver the Global Goals that the world adopted in 2015 and end reliance on aid.

DFID’s Economic Development Strategy will help deliver these ambitions by:

1. Focusing on trade as an engine for poverty reduction.

We will build the potential for developing countries to trade more with the UK and the rest of the world and integrate into global value chains. Using our voice in the World Trade Organization, we will argue for better and fairer trading rules for developing countries and strengthen our approach to ‘aid for trade’.

2. Stimulating investment to spur economic growth in developing countries.

Investment is vital to create jobs and develop infrastructure but private investors such as pension funds typically hold back from the long-term investment needed. Patient capital investments can demonstrate what is possible in developing countries and pave the way for private investment, ensuring billions of aid translates into trillions of investment. CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, will be at the heart of our approach.

3. Supporting countries to mobilise their own domestic resources, improve their enabling environment for business and reduce reliance on aid.

We will strengthen our approach to tackling corruption; help countries to increase their own domestic revenues; and build open, transparent institutions as the foundation of more prosperous economies. We will focus on tax systems and the wider enabling environment to make it easier and more transparent for companies to do business and invest to reduce poverty.

4. Focusing our efforts on sectors that can unlock growth.

Our programme portfolio will move strongly to develop sectors that can propel growth - including energy, infrastructure, urban planning, manufacturing, commercial agriculture and financial services.

5. Making it easier for companies - including from the UK - to enter and invest in markets of the future.

We will work collaboratively with businesses to understand the barriers to accessing these markets and work to make it easier for them to do business that reduces poverty.

6. Supporting our partner countries to harness new technologies for growth and look to emerging and innovative economic sectors, such as e-commerce and peer-to-peer business and finance.

7. Working with, and challenging, the City of London to become the ‘development finance hub of choice’.

We will help create stronger capital markets and financial services in our partner countries and we will be a global leader in helping developing countries

9. Building a sharper focus on nutrition, human development and skills for work into our economic development programmes and helping to build a healthy, educated and productive workforce for the future.

10. Focusing on the poorest and most marginalised people, the majority of whom work in the informal sector.

We will place the economic empowerment of girls and women at the heart of our approach and help marginalised groups, including people with disabilities, to access productive employment.

11. Establishing new links both in the UK and internationally with civil society organisations and other innovative partners to help deliver the ambition in this Strategy.


These priorities will support economic development overseas whilst benefitting the UK at home. Our priorities will help build Britain’s trading partners of the future, and advance Britain’s national security and foreign policy interests. We will assist poor countries to finance their own development, harness their rapidly growing young populations and overcome the need for aid.