The private sector is a major partner of Austrian development cooperation. This is because businesses solve problems. They create jobs, build infrastructure and contribute to poverty reduction. Particularly those countries where the private sector has become more relevant in recent years have made great progress. The only way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is for governments, enterprises and civil societies to act together on a global scale.


- are a major driver for employment, productivity and inclusive economic growth through their investments and innovations;
- make an effective contribution to reducing poverty;
- provide basic goods and services such as food, education, health and energy;
- draw on expertise in various sectors relevant to sustainable development and establish innovative business models;
- provide capital, develop innovative financing arrangements and generate tax revenue;
- operate in areas where governments can hardly exert any influence for political, economic or logistical reasons.

The private sector is important for achieving the SDGs. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) therefore intervenes at two points in the sector:

Inclusive market system development paves the way for a flourishing private sector. A favorable economic environment, capacity development and access to finance are key factors to make that happen.
- Partnerships between development cooperation and the private sector, e.g. between donor agencies and companies, can harness the latter’s potential for sustainable development. Cooperating with businesses not only generates private funds but also transfers decisive know-how to partner countries. The efficiency of development policy and engagement is thereby increased and all three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental and social) are being equally considered.

The ADA pursues three objectives within the private sector and development area: 

- sustainable, inclusive and consequently pro-poor growth
- harnessing the potential of the European private sector for development cooperation
- inclusive market system development