There are increasing investments made in developing countries, and in principle Spire believes this is a good alternative to aid. Economic growth requires that someone initiates, and a lack of investment has meant that many countries have not had the opportunity to build their own industries.
But also here there are some problems to be solved. The recipe that we followed in Norway when we discovered oil was to demand jobs for Norwegians and state ownership so that the people of Norway benefit from the wealth – and not the international companies. We must allow developing countries a chance to follow the same recipe!
When Norwegian companies invest in oil or agricultural land in developing countries there have to be a regulation in place that requires that 90 % of the workforce are to be obtained from that country. The company must pay high export duties if they export goods instead of selling them on the national market, and they need to process the goods in the country. Too many developing countries are caught in the "commodity trap" - they export raw materials cheaply, while developed countries process them and earn big bucks when they sell the finished goods forwards.
Spire believes that it is important to invest in the agricultural sector in the global South. However, investments must be made in cooperatives / federations, in knowledge and in farmers - not land.