EU aid for ACP investment
The partnership between the EU and the ACP countries (that include 38 of the world?s 49 least developed countries) has a long standing history and was renewed in 2000 with the Cotonou Agreement. Furthermore, the European Commission has become the world?s fifth largest donor of development aid - and therefore one of the most important - in the 1990?s. When total aid is looked at the ACP countries are disproportionally among those receiving the most foreign aid per capita in the world and hence the effects of European aid are of special relevance for them. The aim of this paper is therefore to investigate the effect European aid has on investment in the ACP countries. It contributes to the ongoing debate on aid effectiveness by arguing that the impact f aid does not only depend on the characteristics of the recipient but also of the donor. The EU-ACP Partnership Agreement could increase incentives for private investment in the ACP countries either through direct support measures or more indirectly through complementary spending for infrastructure and administration. The special private sector chapter in the Cotonou Agreement makes it visible that private sector support is a primary objective and brings the existing provisions into a more coherent and refined framework. However, given the limited funds that were available under the Lomé Conventions direct investment support cannot be expected to increase total investment considerably. The empirical findings show that total aid has a positive but declining effect on the share of gross domestic investment in GDP. The effect of aid from the European Commission on gross domestic investment seems to be smaller partly due to its allocation towards ACP countries with a relatively poor investment performance.
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