The proactive engagement of the private sector was critical to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Inevitably, private finance will become even more central in the concerted effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) due to their ambition. Private investment decisions in both the real economy and in the financial sector should move the world towards the aspirations set out in the 2030 agenda. This means going far beyond philanthropy and voluntary corporate social responsibility, important though they are. It is a matter of steering the investment decisions that private actors make every day.
In the context of the Financing for Development debate, this discussion paper reflects on the latest trends and makes recommendations to:
1. Establish an enabling regulatory environment for the private sector to invest in the SDGs;
2. Introduce “Smart” public incentives to fasten the realignment of private finance to the SDGs; and
3. Foster change in company and consumer behaviours to transition to inclusive and sustainable markets.