Canadian Consulting Engineer

CIDA Consultations: Private Sector Development

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is conducting consultations on a framework for private sector development. In response, ACEC has written to the Minister for International Cooperat...

July 1, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is conducting consultations on a framework for private sector development. In response, ACEC has written to the Minister for International Cooperation, the Honourable Susan Whelan, to express its views, which can be summarized as follows:

ACEC believes that there is an important role for the private sector in the advancement of developing countries.

Canadian consulting engineering firms need strong local private-sector partners in developing countries and, consequently, our Association supports capacity building initiatives that may be undertaken by CIDA or other organizations.

An effective way for CIDA to assist in developing private sector consulting engineering firms in developing countries is to provide opportunities for them to undertake, in partnership with Canadian engineering firms, projects that contain a specific private-sector capacity-building component. Capacity building will best occur within the framework of CIDA-supported infrastructure projects that involve Canadian consulting engineering firms which, with their experience and expertise, can serve as mentors and partners with local firms.

ACEC is prepared to undertake collaborative capacity-building projects with sister consulting engineering associations in developing countries, either at the regional or national level. ACEC has already explored the possibility of undertaking such institutional projects with CIDA support.

ACEC believes strongly that CIDA’s Industrial Cooperation Program is useful in supporting the planning of sustainable business activities in developing countries while promoting the role of the private sector. A strong CIDA INC. program can help Canadian engineers be competitive internationally and leverage their services into opportunities for other Canadian businesses, while supporting the private sector in developing countries.

CIDA INC. needs strong level of commitment

With respect to the CIDA INC. program, ACEC has indicated to Minister Whelan that its members are very concerned about two issues of significance to them: (1) the decrease in the overall CIDA allocation to the CIDA-INC program, and (2) the possible lowering of the CIDA share of the contribution from the 80% level that has been applied in the past. ACEC is concerned that reductions in the level of commitment to the CIDA INC. program will have a definite negative impact on the consulting engineering industry’s ability to further expand its activities in developing countries. Given that CIDA no longer supports infrastructure investments, the CIDA INC. program is the only one that enables Canadian consulting engineering firms to establish long-term business partnerships in developing countries.


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