The Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), initiated by the Dutch government, will commence in 2014. The DGGF issues export and investment financing to Dutch and local businesses for activities in developing countries.

SOMO, ActionAid and BothENDS have written a briefing, in response to the recently published memorandum for the Dutch parliament, called ‘Ondernemen voor ontwikkeling’ (Business for Development), which provides detailed information about the DGGF. This briefing aims to contribute to this concept in a concrete and constructive way.

The starting point for evaluating this memorandum is the fact that the fund must safeguard the principles of development cooperation in all cases. The implementation of the DGGF in early 2014 should be seen as an opportunity to start a continuing critical discussion about the functioning of the private sector in development cooperation.

Update: DGGF discussion in the House of Representatives on 11-11-2013

On 11 November the DGGF was discussed in the House of Representatives. It is clear the last word has not yet been spoken on this subject. The opposition is not convinced that the fund will be able to truly serve its intended purpose. The D66, Christen Unie and Groen Links parties put forward a dozen joint motions, which partly overlap with recommendations from the paper released by SOMO, Both ENDS and ActionAid.

At this moment it cannot be said which motions may be accepted. One concrete commitment was made by minister Ploumen however: transparency will be improved so that social organisations and the public will gain more insight into and more say over projects prior to investment decisions. This is an important recommendation from the paper of the three organisations. The opposition is happy with the €50m that will shift from the DGGF to poverty reduction, but still expressed discontent and concern over the development of the three-track policy and development relevancy of the fund. Click here for an extensive report of the debate, written by Vice Versa (in Dutch).