Mobilizing sufficient financing remains the major challenge to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although interests in inclusive and sustainable financing are growing from both public and private sectors, the most needed investment for SDGs related projects remain underfunded. Systemic risk is also rising amidst uncertainty about the global economy from increasing debt burdens and trade policies towards protectionism. Under this background, the United Nations has raised the alarm that unless we revamped both national and international financial systems to be in line with inclusive and sustainable development, we will fail to fully accomplish the SDGs.
With the present and clear challenges in Asia and the Pacific, developing countries must mobilize more resources in financing the 2030 Agenda by increasing domestic resources, partnering with the private sector, and enhancing international development cooperation. In this context, it is recommended that the countries undertake innovative approaches in achieving the SDGs through strengthening and diversifying financial flows that may mobilize through taxation and fiscal management, ODA, commercial banking, capital markets, non-bank financial schemes, climate finance, small business and supply chain financing and remittance as well as FinTech solutions and STI finance. The change of investment mindset from short-term to long-term is also crucial to enhance inclusive and sustainable development in the countries.
In the region, ESCAP has estimated that financing SDGs would require an additional investment of $1.5 trillion per year or an average of 5% of GDP. For least developed countries (LDCs) in the region, the challenge is even bigger as it requires 16% of GDP to finance the SDGs. This clearly suggests that in addition to national efforts, the region needs to strengthen its regional cooperation to facilitate the achievement of the SDGs through adequate financial resource mobilization among all countries in the region. Financing SDGs would also need unprecedented coordination and cooperation between the public and private sectors, facilitated by multilateral development banks (MDBs). It may also require significant efforts to reform global financial frameworks eventually, perhaps covering both domestic regulations and international rules as well as the roles of financial institutions, with strong commitment from all stakeholders.
The Asia-Pacific Conference on Financing inclusive and Sustainable Development tries to bring together policymakers, private business and financial sectors, MDBs, international organizations, civil society organizations and all other relevant stakeholders to discuss pressing issues on financing for inclusive and sustainable development. The dialogue will not only enhance sharing knowledge and best practices among the participants to facilitate SDG funding but also ignite the discussions on new policy and cooperation frameworks at the regional level to facilitate financial resource mobilization to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The main objective of the conference is to discuss on how to scale up investment and international development cooperation and adequately finance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. The conference will discuss the following topics:
New and innovative policy and regulatory options to enhance domestic and external resources to finance SDG projects;
Financing infrastructure development in a context of efficient governance, breakneck urbanization and public-private partnerships (PPPs);
Private financing enhancement through developing robust business models with environmental, social and economic impact assessment;
Awareness raising on climate finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation;
Capital market development to close financing gaps through sovereign/corporate green/blue bonds, infrastructure funds and blended finance instruments;
Proper policy and regulatory approach for Fintech evolution to protect consumers and avoid financial stability risk;
Financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs);
Supply chain financing to enable LDCs’ participation in international trade and investment;
Financing schemes to spur the development on science, technology and innovation (STI); and
Scaling up effort for international development cooperation through official development assistance (ODA) and south-south cooperation.
International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICC Bangladesh), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) & Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the patronage of the Government of Bangladesh will organize “The Asia-Pacific Conference on Financing inclusive and Sustainable Development” at InterContinental Hotel in Dhaka on 10-12 December 2019. ICC Bangladesh will celebrate its Silver Jubilee and Global Centenary of ICC during the Gala Event.
The Conference will bring together policymakers, private business and financial sector, international organizations, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders. This meeting will include over 600 participants from throughout Asia and the Pacific and other regions. Other key partners apart from the above co-organizers will include the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), the Alliance of Financial Inclusion (AFI), the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (UN-OHRLLS), the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), the World Bank/International Finance Cooperation, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other relevant agencies. The ESCAP Sustainable Business Network (ESBN) and its Task Force on Banking and Finance will provide critical inputs to the conference.