Business leaders from the Asia-Pacific region will discuss ways of financing the sustainable development goals at a conference in Dhaka between December 10 and 12. Mahbubur Rahman, president of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh, said this at a press conference at the office of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the capital yesterday.
ICC Bangladesh is organising the Asia-Pacific Conference on Financing for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), the Asian Development Bank’s Trade Finance Programme, and the London Institute of Banking and Finance.
The finance ministry of Bangladesh is the patron of the event, which will be inaugurated by President Md Abdul Hamid at the InterContinental Dhaka.
The conference will also celebrate ICC Bangladesh’s 25th anniversary while the 100th of the ICC, Rahman said.
The ICC with its headquarters in Paris is having its centenary celebration the world-over in 2019.With its presence in more than 100 countries, the chamber represents 45 million companies and more than one billion workers worldwide. Founded in 1994, ICC Bangladesh is comprised of trade organisations, national and trans-national corporations, banks and financial institutions that represent almost 80 percent of the Bangladesh economy.
ICC Bangladesh closely works for the promotion of foreign trade and investment, trade policy review, business dialogues, seminars and workshops on policy issues, harmonisation of trade law and rules and legal reforms.
Mobilising sufficient financing remains the major challenge to achieve the 2030 Agenda for SDGs, Rahman said. Although interests in inclusive and sustainable financing are growing from both public and private sectors, the most needed investment for SDG-related projects remains underfunded, he added.
“The United Nations has raised the alarm that unless both national and international financial systems are revamped to be in line with inclusive and sustainable development, the SDGs will never be fully achieved.”
In Asia and the Pacific region, UNESCAP has estimated that financing SDGs would require an additional investment of $1.5 trillion per year or an average of 5 percent of the GDP of Asia Pacific countries. For LDCs, it will require 16 percent of the GDP.
This clearly suggests that, in addition to national efforts, the region needs to strengthen cooperation within itself for facilitating the achievement of the SDGs through adequate financial resource mobilisation among all countries in the region, Rahman said.
Financing SDGs would also need unprecedented coordination and cooperation between the public and private sectors, facilitated by multilateral development banks.
The main objectives of the conference will be to discuss how to scale up investment and international development cooperation and adequately finance the 2030 Agenda for SDGs in Asia and the Pacific.
The conference will discuss topics like new and innovative policy and regulatory options to enhance domestic and external resources to finance SDG projects.
Around 100 delegates, including ministers, from 30 countries will participate in the summit.