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September 28, 2012

You say Potato ...
Posted by James Lamond

Potato

Heather has a comprehensive breakdown of Mitt Romney’s speech at the Clinton Global Initiative earlier this week that is worth a read. After going back a taking a look at the speech, one of his proposals jumped put. In his CGI remarks Romney proposes the creation of “Prosperity Pacts,” to encourage economic growth and foreign investment.  This sounds like an interesting idea. The only issue is that it already exists. The State Department has a program call the Partnership for Growth, which does pretty much what Governor Romney proposes.

Romney specifically proposes:

To foster work and enterprise in the Middle East and in other developing countries, I will initiate “Prosperity Pacts.”  Working with the private sector, the program will identify the barriers to investment, trade, and entrepreneurialism in developing nations. In exchange for removing those barriers and opening their markets to U.S. investment and trade, developing nations will receive U.S. assistance packages focused on developing the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights.

We will focus our efforts on small and medium-size businesses. Microfinance has been an effective tool at promoting enterprise and prosperity, but we must expand support to small and medium-size businesses that are too large for microfinance, but too small for traditional banks.

Now the language from the State Department’s website explaining its Partnership for Growth program:

Partnership for Growth (PFG) is a partnership between the United States and a select group of countries to accelerate and sustain broad-based economic growth… It involves rigorous joint analysis of constraints to growth, the development of joint action plans to address these constraints, and high-level mutual accountability for implementation. One of PFG’s signature objectives is to engage governments, the private sector and civil society with a broad range of tools to unlock new sources of investment, including domestic resources and foreign direct investment. By improving coordination, leveraging private investment, and focusing political commitment throughout both governments, the Partnership for Growth enables partners to achieve better development results.

The program has already begun with El Salvador, Ghana, Philippines, and Tanzania as the first group of partners. 

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