Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Australia’s Overseas Aid and Development Assistance Program

This is the Business Council of Australia Submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee Inquiry into Australia’s Overseas Aid and Development Assistance Program.

This submission incorporates the BCA Submission to the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, made in February 2011.

The BCA supports the government’s aim for the aid program to prioritise the promotion of economic development, with a focus on aid for trade.

We also support the aid program building more effective linkages with the private sector. Sustained economic growth will have the greatest impact on eliminating poverty and improving living standards in developing countries.

As the eighth largest aid donor in the OECD in absolute dollar terms, and the 13th largest as a share of gross national income, Australia’s aid program represents a significant investment of federal revenue.

The BCA supports an aid program aligned with the government’s commitment to fiscal restraint in the current budget context.