IBBC Non-Executive President, Baroness Nicholson, leads debate on DIFD Economic Strategy in the House of Lords, 27 November 2017.
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Non-Executive President of the Iraq Britain Business Council, leads debate on the Department for International Development’s Economic Development Strategy in the House of Lords on 27 November 2017:
“My Lords, it is an honour to initiate this important debate because it marks a significant change in the Department for International Development’s thinking that has perhaps not yet been fully explored in your Lordships’ House. The change is highly important and there is already a new departmental strategy in place with some very senior staff already in post. As I read it, this has been triggered by Brexit, when we can no longer afford to run alone as different departments but must come together and work together for the wider British goals. The implementation the Government are offering will be largely, but I imagine not wholly, by CDC; the focus of the new policy—but I expect it will soon be beyond this—is on Africa and Asia; the collaboration, long sought, will be a close partnership between DfID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Trade and the MoD.
The new policy continues DfID’s soft power. I had the honour of speaking for DfID at the UN’s first ever global sustainable transport conference in Turkmenistan recently—something that could not have happened if DfID had not financed it through the World Bank—but soft power has limitations. It is not visible in expenditure; it is, if you like, at second or third hand, and it is not possible to find the British imprint on that expenditure. Adding to that widespread portfolio with the new policy is, as I see it, a very good thing to do.
Already, the Commonwealth Development Corporation had an ancient track record of excellence in this field, and under its new guise since 2007 it is joining the stable of eminent institutions whose view is that the value of aid per se in conquering poverty has perhaps peaked and is dropping and that we must focus much more on the free market and the rule of law and on making stability through jobs and futures...”
Read the full address Here.