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Private sector development

Private sector development

How we are helping

2018-19 budget estimate:
$1,444.2 million

Responding to COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic is currently the over-riding challenge for the Indo-Pacific region with significant impacts across countries and economies.

The Australian Government’s development policy Partnerships for Recovery – Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response and performance framework, outline Australia’s approach to tackling COVID-19 in our region focussed on health security, stability and economic recovery. Under this policy, DFAT is pivoting existing private sector programs to support economic recovery. We are working with businesses to create livelihood opportunities, support inclusive business practices, enhance gender equality and support countries to build back better and strengthen resilient economic recovery.

Why we provide development assistance

Australia's aid policy framework reflects an increasing focus on the private sector: as the source of economic growth, incomes and jobs; and as a partner with whom we can work to achieve faster and more sustainable development outcomes. Private sector development refers to DFAT's work to support the growth of the private sector in developing countries.

DFAT has a Strategy for Australia's Aid Investments in Private Sector Development, which reflects the Government's priority of growing the size and inclusiveness of the private sector in our partner countries in order to drive economic growth and reduce poverty.

How we provide development assistance

Australia's Private Sector Development investments target three objectives:

  • Building better business and investment environments: For example, reform of business registration processes, contracting laws, customs and trade regulation, enabling access to finance, and supporting the provision of essential hard and soft infrastructure.
  • Supporting growth in specific markets: For example, facilitating new business opportunities and removing barriers to efficient market operation, creating market incentives, improving the functioning of value and supply chains, supporting provision of key economic infrastructure through technical expertise and risk management, and providing anchor funding for market builders.
  • Maximising the development impact of businesses: For example, partnering with businesses to implement business models that serve the poor as consumers, producers or employees.

The Strategy for Australia's Aid Investments in Private Sector Development is supported by the Operational Framework for Private Sector Engagement in Australia's Aid Program and the Ministerial Statement on Engaging the Private Sector in Aid and Development.

To find out more about DFAT's work with the private sector, or if you are a business interested in working with DFAT's development program, visit our private sector partnerships webpage or contact

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