Mobilizing Corporate Assets for Sustainable Development by Carl Manlan

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is unlikely, but if companies reinvent and deepen their impact on the community, poor countries can make great strides. Key to such a process will be support for small and medium-sized enterprises, which in both developing and developed countries are the engine of income growth.

DUBAI – The final Sustainable Development Goal is, in some ways, the most important. Recognizing that all other SDGs can only be achieved through collaboration, SDG17 includes objectives such as mobilizing financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources and promoting partnerships among public, private and other stakeholders. But, less than eight years from the 2030 deadline of the SDGs, official development assistance continues to dominate the discourse on structural economic transformation.

In 2021, net ODA from members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee amounted to just under $179 billion. That’s less than 4.5% of the $4.2 trillion miss to win financing required to support the achievement of the SDGs. And if countries agreed in 2015, when adopting the SDGs, to increase ODA to 0.7% of gross national income by 2030, they stay far from reach this target. Meanwhile, more than $100 trillion in assets under management around the world can be leveraged to accelerate development.

Beyond the difference in scale, the public and private sectors tend to target various aspects of the continuum of development. For example, ODA might be channeled towards improving health outcomes, while investment is more likely to stimulate growth in a particular sector, such as agriculture.

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