The Role of Private Sector in Social and Economic Development

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The important role that the private sector plays in social and economic development led the International Labour Conference to discuss the concept of sustainable enterprises in June 2007. The promotion of sustainable enterprises ensures that human, financial and natural resources are combined equitably. An environment conducive to the creation and growth of enterprises on a sustainable basis must take into account the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – as interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars.
The 2007 International Labour Conference adopted conclusions for the promotion of sustainable enterprises and identified 17 conditions for an enabling environment. An environment conducive to the creation and growth of sustainable enterprises combines the legitimate quest for profit with the need for development that respects human dignity, environmental sustainability and decent work.
The same conclusions invite the ILO to focus its interventions on practical responses, including tools, methodologies and knowledge sharing, which are relevant to the social partners in their activities. This is why the ILO has developed a methodology to assess the degree to which the 17 conditions for an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises are met in different countries. This report describes the implementation of such an assessment in Lesotho and is part of a series of country reports on the same topic. As a pilot initiative, the Lesotho assessment includes a component on multinational enterprises (MNE). The report covers the political, economic, social, and environmental situation of the enabling business environment in Lesotho. The political area comprises 4 of the 17 conditions, the ec...

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...ho, notably for the “Environmental Sustainability Index” and the “Environment Performance Index”. Furthermore, it is sometimes difficult to identify appropriate indicators to measure specific EESE conditions, as in the case of “entrepreneurial culture” where only two indicators have been identified, and only one of which has data on Lesotho. Primary data also presents some limitations. As with any perception survey, caution is needed in drawing general conclusions, since some questions may have been interpreted in different ways, and key notions used in questions may have been given alternative meanings by respondents. To overcome these and other limitations, information from available national and international literature, and from the focus group discussions with national stakeholders and with national tripartite participants during technical workshops was used.
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