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Since the mid-1980s, aid agencies have endorsed the need to support the development of private enterprise in low-income countries as an instrument for overall economic development and poverty reduction. Facilitated collaboration between firms in industrialised and developing countries has become one of the most popular forms of assistance in this endeavour. Although such collaborations vary in design, they all involve third-party organisations that identify partners and sponsor the first steps in the establishment of a business platform for the cooperation. This paper discusses the mechanisms involved in such facilitation and assesses the effectiveness of the catalyst institutions in nurturing collaboration between companies in industrialised and developing countries. The discussion is illustrated with case studies drawn from Ghana.

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