The Steering Committee of the Free Enterprise & Democracy Network, of which the Center for International Private Enterprise serves as secretariat, released the following statement regarding the pandemic and economic recovery:
Washington, DC – As the world contends with a health crisis and economic recession, governments and citizens must act decisively to restore health and preserve jobs while safeguarding our values of a democratic way of life and freedom of economic opportunity. Crisis responses guided by these values can take us forward through recovery toward better governed, fairer, and more prosperous societies. Amid the many responses that are needed and being taken, the following must take priority:
- Help ensure that relief gets to those who need it most, including SMEs, women-owned businesses, and job seekers.
- Preserve the stability of public finances in the context of rapid increases in public debt. Fiscal measures should be well directed and for a specified period of time.
- Support the flow of transparent and reliable information to maintain citizens’ trust and enable business owners to make business decisions.
- Mobilize private sector solutions and partnerships to reopen economies and chart long-term recovery. Adopt pro-growth policies for recovery, including business environment reform and education.
- Encourage improved rule of law and oppose authoritarian encroachment on rights and the economy. In democracies, ensure that the expansion of governments’ emergency powers is temporary.
- Ensure that women’s voices and diverse private sector voices are heard in public policy.
- Build the resilience of supply chains and maintain the free flow of goods and services.
- Facilitate the growth of inclusive digital economies.
- Formulate a positive vision for democracy to help guide recovery.
Democracy and free enterprise have all the ingredients necessary to mitigate harm, adapt to shocks, and take societies forward. They should assume a central position in strategies for crisis response and recovery. It is through the combined strengths of citizens, governments, and business that we can solve common challenges and preserve our freedoms.
The Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) is a worldwide network of leaders and experts from business and civil society who promote the principles of free enterprise and democracy and make the case for democratic, prosperous societies. The network currently has 56 distinguished members from 39 countries.
For more information, please contact Kim Bettcher at KBettcher@cipe.org.