Foreign aid minister Bert Koenders is to focus spending on stimulating the private sector in developing countries, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.
Traditionally aid money has been spent on education, health and infrastructure.
Developing countries need to bolster their own assets at times of crisis because they have been hit hard by protectionism, falling demand, lower prices for raw materials and banks which are reluctant to make loans, he told the paper in an interview.
The Netherlands’ spending on aid has fallen for the second successive year, to some €4bn, because of the economic squeeze. This has led to painful choices, Koenders said.
Koenders told the paper that a focus on local firms can also have a beneficial effect for Dutch companies.
‘The key is that we invest in a way that helps developing countries earn their own money,’ Koenders said.
‘We must give the private sector a chance, so we are helping set up chambers of trade and employers’ organisations.’
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