National event asks: can we solve global poverty?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The role of the private sector in helping to solve global poverty is the topic of a national one-day conference being hosted by the University of Adelaide this week, featuring government, industry and non-government organisations.

The conference, on Friday 19 July, is a National Dialogue that explores exactly how the private sector, with support, can more effectively contribute to reducing poverty in the developing world, not through handouts, but by assisting local communities to earn their own money and trade their way out of poverty.

The event involves high-profile keynote speakers - including Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, and the Hon. Julie Bishop, Opposition spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade - and will be opened by the Hon. Tom Kenyon, on behalf of the Premier of South Australia.

"Around the globe more than 1.4 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty, living on less than $750 a year compared to average annual earnings in Australia of $50,000," says Jim Redden from the University's Institute for International Trade, which has organised the event.

"Such extreme poverty has many implications for our planet, not least of which is prolonged human suffering, and the insecurity and political instability it creates.

"At the Institute for International Trade, we've identified a small but growing awareness, both within the private sector and across the wider community, of the role that the private sector can play in ending global poverty," he says.

The National Dialogue on the Role of the Private Sector in Development and Aid for Trade, being held at the InterContinental Adelaide, has attracted the support of major company CEOs, Federal and State governments, current and former politicians, the Head of AusAID and the World Trade Organization.

"The Dialogue will examine where the core business interests of private companies intersect with the aims of aid agencies and universities concerned about aid, trade and poverty," Mr Redden says.

"For example, Beach Energy in Australia has operations in Africa; San Remo and Coca Cola have operations across some of the least developed countries in the Asia Pacific. How with some informed help and advice can companies such as these increase employment and training outcomes, provide education programs for the poor, or support local business and the community?"

Mr Redden says outcomes of the National Dialogue will be submitted to the Australian Government and to the Federal Opposition, as well as to AusAID. "In this way, we hope to generate real outcomes and not make this event just a theoretical exercise," he says.


Contact Details

Jim Redden
Director, International Programs
Institute for International Trade
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6902
Mobile: +61 414 257 446

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814