Changing foreign aid: can more groups 'buy local'? - Building Markets

Changing foreign aid: can more groups ‘buy local’?

by Clare Hutchinson
December 7, 2013

Governments from Myanmar to Zambia are pushing for international aid organizations to work with local companies as they pour in billions in aid and investment. It’s a phenomenon hardly limited to Myanmar. With billions of dollars in aid and development money pouring into emerging economies from Southeast Asia to sub-Saharan Africa, host governments are pushing organizations to source vegetables, mining equipment, and other products from local firms. It’s a way to ensure that local entrepreneurs – not just foreigners – benefit from investment. Local businesses create jobs and spread knowledge in poor countries that often lack both.

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