During the last few years, profound shifts have taken place in geopolitics and economic power.
The rise in “south-south” trade has challenged the hegemony of western norms in trade and business such as transparency, governance and ethics. And while more business is being done in developing countries, there is little agreement about the responsibilities of business in development.
At the same time food, health, poverty and education issues as well as corruption and bribery in developing countries require urgent action.
The response from business to these challenges will be potentially the single most important factor in determining whether a new era of development achieves the objective of sustainable and inclusive growth.
A recent report by World Bank Vice President Otaviano Canuto argues that developing countries will be engines of growth and could carry the world economy in the future, provided they have a clear strategy. If so, there may be enormous opportunities for companies to claim market leadership by helping developing countries to establish these growth strategies. A different role for business in development will certainly emerge. But what will be its parameters, objectives and responsibilities? What will be the key requirements for a new era and how can we create sustainable strategies?
Two challenges to business in developing countries are already clear:
- The definition of strategies and partnerships that enhance sustainability of business and market development;
- The need to innovate to deliver profitable products and services in developing countries.
Themes that arise from this double challenge include:
- Taking stock of successes and failures in development over the past 50 years
- Identifying the major factors that will underpin a new era of development
- Showcasing business innovation in response to critical challenges in developing countries
- Shaping a new agenda for integrating development in management practice, research & education
The EABIS Annual Colloquium will address these challenges with an interdisciplinary approach including social sciences, economics, applied sciences & technology. It will be the ideal place for knowledge exchange, agenda setting in business research and education, and will open the field of CR to development issues and perspectives.