Strong global, regional partnership to help achieve sustainable goals
A strong global and regional partnership can help nations achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said experts, as an international conference on financing inclusive and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region concluded yesterday.
During the three-day event, the speakers recommended mobilising finances, bringing about policy reforms, and boosting private sector investment and capacity building of the private sector.
They also suggested framing long-term action plans, ensuring new financing mechanisms and robust institutional governance to face the challenges of poverty and climate change and termed extremely crucial access to markets, information, finance and skills.
The International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICCB) organised the conference in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Asian Development Bank’s Trade Finance Programme, and the London Institute of Banking and Finance at the InterContinental Dhaka hotel.
Mahbubur Rahman, president of the ICCB, briefed journalists on the outcomes of the conference.
He said the discussants called for digitalisation for sustainable banking systems, establishing more microcredit mechanisms for financial inclusiveness, implementation of an effective bond marketing system, and ease of information availability and transparency to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
Logistics and transport systems need to be improved to ensure efficient financing, while special emphasis needs to be put on fintech and women empowerment for micro, small and medium enterprises to flourish.
Replying to queries, Rahman said various pressing issues on financing inclusive and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific were discussed.
The issues include innovative policy and regulatory frameworks; capital market development and establishment of bond market; financing infrastructure development and public-private partnerships (PPPs); scaling up private sector investment, trade finance and cross-border trade and investment promotion; climate and disaster finance; and access to finance for SMEs.
“These are only possible through the North-South and South-South cooperation,” Rahman said.
The multi-stakeholder dialogues will help the Asia-Pacific countries promote investment and enhance financing for sustainable growth and development, he said.
However, engaging the private sector as the development partner of the governments is key to minimising the gap of financing in the region, he said, adding that every year $1.5 trillion was required to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
“Without engaging the private sector, it is not possible to manage such a big amount of funds only by the governments in this region.”
On the conference, Rahman said it has enhanced knowledge sharing and suggested many best practices among the participants.
It also brought some new policies and innovative ways to cooperate effectively at the regional level to help mobilise financial resources, he said.
The conference emphasised the need to improve the level of national governance and resource management to develop infrastructure and provide quality public services through good selection, allocation, design and implementation of associated actions and activities, aligned with economic, social and governance frameworks.
The panelists suggested development partners continue supporting countries in Asia and the Pacific to enhance private investment, strengthen the banking sector, and improve SMEs’ access to finance.
The conference requested the development partners to provide assistance to the countries in the region to enhance financial flows through new and innovative financial modalities, such as climate, green and blue bonds, capital market development, public private partnership, blended finance, fintech, supply chain finance, and digitised remittance.
Some 800 participants from different governments in the Asia-Pacific region, representatives from the United Nations organisations, international organisations, multilateral development banks, private sector associations and businesses, civil society organisations and eminent experts attended the seminar.
The finance ministry of Bangladesh was the patron of the event, which was inaugurated by President Md Abdul Hamid. The conference also celebrated ICC Bangladesh’s 25th anniversary and the 100th of the ICC.