National
Clinton tells developing countries to be ‘smart’ in getting aid
Published : Nov 30, 2011 - 21:09
Updated : Nov 30, 2011 - 22:45
BUSAN ― U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged newly emerging countries to be “smart” when building a partnership with donor countries for development.

“You need to be smart and sharp because donor countries can be interested more in extracting your resources than building your capacity,“ Clinton said during her speech at the opening ceremony of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan on Wednesday.

“Quick fixes will not produce sustainable growth.”

Clinton’s other advice for developing countries was to facilitate their domestic foreign corporate sector and allow them to play a bigger role in development, using the example of a Korean company’s investment in Haiti.

Although some foreign companies put more priority on profits than on the needs of the partner countries, others were “truly exercising corporate responsibility,” she said.

In Haiti, the government is working with a Korean company to gather $70 million in investment to help build a textile mill that will employ 20,000 people, she said.

“It can help to model what could work, coming straight out from the Korean experience.”

She urged traditional donor countries, including the U.S., to do away with their own political interests when talking about development strategies.

“Donor decisions are driven more by our own political interests, policy preferences or development orthodoxies than by our partners’ needs,” Clinton said.

“Partners have access to evidence-based analysis and best practices. They can better decide what can work for them. We have to be willing to follow their lead.”

As for civil society and non-governmental organizations, Clinton said that they should coordinate with government agencies and other NGOs to make development more effective.

“Now is time to get to work. It is your interest to coordinate with government agencies and other NGOs,” she said.

Clinton also urged the private sector to bridge the divides between itself, governments and NGOs.

Clinton stressed that aid programs to help developing countries should be seen as national security priorities, as recent global economic downturns have made it more difficult for people to find work and food.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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