Synthesis documents

Business Environment Reform Guidelines, EC 2020

    Since the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda and Conference on Climate Change in Paris, a shift in the role of the private sector in development cooperation has occurred. Ending poverty will depend on different factors and an important one is the creation of viable business and productive jobs and their contribution to inclusive and sustainable growth. These aspirations are reflected in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    EU policy documents reflect in turn this shift in the approach to development cooperation: the Africa-EU Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, the External Investment Plan and the Consensus for Development (2017).

    The improvement of the investment climate and business environment reforms (BER) have therefore become important and recurrent elements of EU actions in development cooperation, along with the numerous existing interventions in support of private sector and trade development at micro, meso and macro levels. In addition, the overarching EU policy of European Economic Diplomacy affords the opportunity to inject high level political and policy dialogues with content relevant to improving the business and investment climate.

    This document intends to be a practical, easy-to-use and up-to-date guidance on Business Environment Reform (BER). It should help to prioritise, design and implement BER interventions in partner countries, with an inclusive, pro-poor, gender and rights-based approach.