Public–private partnership as a mechanism to encourage MNEs’ contributions to sustainable development goals
Poverty alleviation and empowering poor societies are important objectives of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The involvement of multinational enterprises (MNEs) is considered an important element in accomplishing sustainable development goals. However, profit-oriented MNEs are often reluctant to address the needs of the poorest populations and do not see economic potential in operating in the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) markets. A public–private partnership (PPP) is recognised as an effective mechanism for MNEs’ engagement. However, a research gap can be identified from the lack of empirical studies on how PPPs can support the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs). This research aims to understand the importance of public and private sector partnerships in supporting SDGs formed by the United Nations, mostly with a specific focus on poverty alleviation at the BOP. The study applies a triangulation approach by combining the findings from a qualitative study with a descriptive analysis of the secondary data. The primary data was collected from Brazilian policy makers and multinational enterprises’ representatives. The findings of the paper highlight several challenges that MNEs and the Brazilian government faced during their collaboration. Several positive outcomes were also generated that benefited all the actors (MNEs, the Brazilian government, and locals at the BOP). Finally, based on the results, this paper proposes a research framework which can be used for future studies by scholars in international business.