Measures necessary to achieve SDGs stressed

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Private sector representatives pointed to lack of clear federal policies, adequate infrastructure, policy consistency and efficient manpower as the main hurdles to attracting private business enterprises

Nov 22, 2017-Private sector investment and collaboration among stakeholders will need to be increased, and greater focus will have to be put on developing social enterprises to achieve the goals and targets identified by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), experts said Tuesday.  

Speaking at a programme entitled ‘Role of Private Sector in Sustainable Development in Nepal’, they said that these measures could help generate employment at the local level, minimise inequality and help reduce poverty.  

The conference was jointly organised by the United Nations Development Programme and the Korea International Cooperation Agency, a governmental organisation 

established to look after South Korea’s official development assistance for developing countries.

The SDGs, a follow-up on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expired at the end of 2015, are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. 

The SDGs aim to bridge inequality in all forms, raise access to basic public services, ensure access to justice and promote sustainable economic development. These goals have to be achieved by 2030. One of the primary objectives of the SDGs is to end poverty and hunger in the world. The SDGs also aim to promote well-being of all people, sustainable industrialisation, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and employment and decent work for all. 

Other goals include reducing inequality; making cities inclusive, safe and resilient; ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. 

One of the speakers, National Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Swarnim Wagle said Nepal had localised the 230 indicators proposed by the UN to 400 indicators to match the country’s context. “However, policymakers are still in a dilemma with regard to when to start work according to these indicators,” said Wagle. Policies will be formulated in segregated form to address short-term, intermediate and long-term goals to produce effective results, he added.  

Unlike similar previous programmes, the SDGs has focused on securing quality life through more integrated efforts of various stakeholders with private businesses. “As the aim of this programme is to build up a more holistic approach for development, it should be taken as a national concern rather that the job of only the government,” Wagle said. 

Valerie Julliand, resident coordinator of United Nations Nepal, expressed her concern over the inception of social business with ethics. 

“There is a need for transformation in the business modality which should go beyond the traditional public-private partnership model along with the implementation of a federal structure,” Julliand said. “It’s time to think how to do business instead of being confined to ‘what’ business to do.”

According to her, the development of micro enterprises, environmental sustainability, equality between men and women and between various community people could help reduce poverty at the grassroots level. 

South Korean Ambassador Young-sik Park said that the government should take the lead to develop a conducive environment to promote private sector investment. “On the other hand, the private sector should work at the front line to tap opportunities in Nepal’s potential sectors such as mining, agriculture, hydropower and tourism,” he added. 

Meanwhile, private sector representatives pointed to lack of clear federal policies, adequate infrastructure, policy consistency and efficient manpower at the local level as the main hurdles to attracting private business enterprises at the grassroots level.

“In addition to these, there is a need for collaborative efforts from the private 

sector to ensure development at the local level,” said tourism entrepreneur Yogendra Sakya. 

Published: 22-11-2017 08:09

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