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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Research: Rethinking Development

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Energy and Environment
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The private sector and development
South Asia

How do low income countries transform into sustainable developmental states, improving the lives and livelihoods of their citzens?


> FPC Briefing: How Investment Treaties have a chilling effect on Human Rights

By Sam Fowles.

In a new FPC Briefing Sam Fowles (Researcher in Law at Queen Mary University of London) argues that human rights are the ultimate arbiter of the relationship between the state and the individual, yet a new generation of trade and investment agreements are increasingly subjecting human rights to the interests of international investors.

Fowles writes that this 'Second Generation' of agreements has transformed provisions intended to protect investors from state overreach, into guarantees of preferential treatment. This allows investors to exert an unprecedented level of influence on governments. This has often been brought to bear in relation to human rights, with international investors able to compel governments to abandon or roll back measures indented to protect and promote rights. Fowles believes that with Brexit approaching, the UK must shortly embrace Second Generation treaties. Negotiators must, therefore, take account of the risks such instruments pose to fundamental human rights.

Download FPC Briefing: How Investment Treaties have a chilling effect (520 kilobyte PDF)

> Summary note 5- Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing

By Foreign Policy Centre.

In a series of Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) roundtable discussions - supported by Nestlé - the FPC seeks to explore how business can play a more constructive role in building resilience to improve women's economic and social wellbeing across Africa.

This series of roundtable discussions is taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21) which aspires to keep global temperature rises below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this. In addition, at a time when the level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by the aftermath of an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going global economic fragility and austerity producing mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise across both the formal and informal sectors has become increasingly important. How does private sector development support structural transformation and enhance sustainable development outcomes? This might range from wealth and investment creation to employment-led growth. Private sector development might also include driving innovation and technological development or help to build essential infrastructure. Furthermore, business might also support enterprise development, help improve the quality of work and provide much needed skills development and improved productivity.

This summary note reflects the discussions which took place at the fifth session which focused on supporting innovation to promote food and nutritional security across Africa. This is particularly significant for women and girls given the interface between agriculture, rural economic development, and the need to build sustainable food systems to improve nutrition.

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Download Summary note 5-Women's economic resilience &social wellbeing (150 kilobyte PDF)

> Chinese Expansion in Central Asia: Problems and Perspectives

By Dr Catherine Owen.

Over the past two decades, China has been slowly but substantially increasing its presence in Central Asia. Most recently, it has initiated the ambitious new project, the Silk Road Economic Belt, which aims to connect Chinese and European markets via Central Asia. Having surpassed Russia as Central Asia's largest trading partner in 2009, China has invested billions into the economically ailing region and is the largest creditor to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

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> Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?

[Cover of Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?]

Foreign Policy Centre, Josephine Osikena, Deniz Ugur

January 2016

Download Enterprising Africa (1.23 megabyte PDF)

'Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?' is a new FPC report which explores how improving the access and distribution of financial services influences employment creation across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Dr Carlos Lopes, the FPC publication focuses on how responsible financial sector development might be linked to employment creation objectives and targets across the real economy including productive sectors such as agriculture, food production and rural manufacturing. The FPC report argues that such developments would be timely given the today's global population rise which is driving a global surge in the demand for food.

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> Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development

[Cover of Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development]

Josephine Osikena, Anna Owen, Deniz Ugur

an FPC report supported by CDC Group

October 2014

Download 'Employment, enterprise and skills' report (870 kilobyte PDF)

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

'Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development' is a new Foreign Policy Centre report focused on employment expansion across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Donald Kaberuka, the publication represents the culmination of a series of roundtable discussions which took place in 2013/14 and were supported by the UK's development finance institution, CDC Group.

Africa has become one of the highest global growth regions, boasting 16 of the world's top 30 fastest growing economies. Yet almost 78 per cent of workers across Africa either work for themselves or engage in unpaid family work. This rate of vulnerable employment is the world's highest relative to other global regions.

Productive employment does more than simply provide incomes, improve livelihoods, support welfare, promote wellbeing and tackle poverty. Jobs, and more significantly good jobs, have a transformative ability to determine the structure and impact of economic growth on wider development. Yet, the growing buoyancy of African economies is undermined by their lack of structural diversity. This can be illustrated by a number of critical questions. Are ordinary people directly feeling the benefits of record economic growth rates across Africa? What impact are economic growth rates having on the nature and structure of employment across the continent? Is economic growth translating into the development of modern productive well integrated economic sectors? Essentially, is economic growth delivering broad-based structural transformation? Given Africa's growing demand for jobs, this report attempts to explore the pivotal role played by employment in deepening and widening economic growth across Africa.

This publication and its associated events form part of a wider project series being developed by the Foreign Policy Centre entitled: Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth. Additional supporters include Barclays and Nestlé.

Following the publication of this report, the FPC submitted written evidence to the International Development Select Committee enquiry on jobs and livelihoods. The Committee report was published in March 2015 and cited the FPC publication. Access the report here:

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> Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?

[Cover of Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

February 2013 Hard copy: £4.95, plus £1 p+p.

Download Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact? (2.02 megabyte PDF)

The Foreign Policy Centre's new publication, Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?, examines both how Europe is seen on the world stage and the effectiveness of the new External Action Service in delivering on its key objectives: building an effective new diplomatic service, strengthening EU influence in the neighbourhood and developing relations with strategic partners. It explores the institutional and organisational challenges surrounding the creation of the EEAS and considers what tensions remain with other EU institutions and national governments, with particular reference to the UK's difficult relationship with Europe.

Europe in the World is edited by Adam Hug (Foreign Policy Centre). It contains contributions on a range of topics and different perspectives from: Dr. Jozef Batora (Comenius University), Thiago de Aragão (Foreign Policy Centre), William Gumede (Foreign Policy Centre), Jacqueline Hale (Open Society Foundations), Richard Howitt MEP, Stefan Lehne (Carnegie Europe), Dr. Simon Lightfoot and Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi (University of Leeds), Prof. Anand Menon (Kings College London), Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG, QC, MP, Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP, Prof. John Peterson (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Neil Winn (University of Leeds). Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander MP (Shadow Foreign Secretary) provides the foreword.

The findings of the Europe in the World publication have been extensively referenced in the UK Government's Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Foreign Policy paper.

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> The Foreign Policy Centre at the 2015 Conservative Party Conference

Tuesday 6 October - Manchester

The Foreign Policy Centre is hosting a fringe event at this year's Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Please click below to download the flyer. The event is free and open to all, however Conference accreditation WILL be required to gain access to the venue which is located inside the secure zone.

Download FPC fringe at the 2015 Conservative Party Conference (210 kilobyte PDF)

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> What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?

supported by Barclays

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

Financial inclusion and jobs: Drivers of development and growth in Africa?

How might improving the access, distribution and use of a wide range of affordable and appropriate financial services and products (financial inclusion) facilitate job creation and stimulate balanced economic growth across Africa? In addition, how might the private sector build partnerships to champion strong leadership, sustainable innovation and responsible engagement in order to help develop an enabling environment where universal financial inclusion and employment-led growth can thrive?

FPC Roundtable series: Building an agenda for action to shape a post-2015 development agenda

At a series of three roundtable discussions and through the publication of a report supported by Barclays, the Foreign Policy Centre seeks to explore how greater financial inclusion has the potential to help drive the development of new businesses and new jobs, thereby igniting development transformation across Africa. In an effort to support action to help redefine the international development agenda post-2015, the event series seeks to explore the interface between financial inclusion and employment creation – two pressing global public policy priorities.

The event series is scheduled to take place during February 2014 to June 2014. Following the roundtable discussion series, the FPC will produce a report (to be launched in the autumn/winter of 2014) that will build on the discussions and insights exchanged during the course of the event series. The report will capture the salient issues discussed and key findings identified.

Should you have any queries about this event series, please feel free to contact the FPC on

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> South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or ruination?

DATE: Monday 28 April 2014

TIME: 4.00-6.00pm

VENUE: Please note room change: Committee Room 5, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Speaker: William Gumede, author of South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or Ruination? and Associate Professor and Convener in Political Economy, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg)

As South Africans prepare to go to the polls for the 2014 presidential elections, what does the future hold for one of Africa's leading economies?

Developing economies are increasingly regarded as potential global growth engines which could power the world economy. Alongside China, Brazil, Russia and India, South Africa belatedly became part of the BRICS alliance, forged to provide leading developing countries with a greater voice with respect to global action.

Yet, might the differences between members in this disparate bloc far outweigh the similarities that bind them, compounding competition and tension within the group? Might the keenness of once eager investors have been cooled by the groups' more modest economic performance? This is

illustrated by China's immense economic restructuring which has led to contractions in its growth rates, which formerly boasted double digits. This is in addition to the turbulent currency crisis which fuelled further rises in already relatively high inflation and interest rates experienced across many emerging markets, earlier this year. As the US economy experiences a fragile recovery this has reduced the need to stimulate the economy and keep interest rates low. As such, the US Federal Reserve has begun to ease its injections of liquidity into the wider banking system. How might the BRICS in general and South Africa in particular, insulate its own markets from the turbulence generated by the fall in monetary stimulus which has considerably reduced investment inflows into developing economies?

More importantly, beyond political advantage, might the real gains of such an alliance for an economy like South Africa now seem far more limited than otherwise envisaged? Furthermore, with the advent of a so-called second generation of emerging economic giants which include Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (the MINTs), might South Africa have sneaked into the wrong club?

This event is free and open to all. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by email to

Download FPC Seminar - South Africa in BRICS (80 kilobyte PDF)

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