UNDP, Govt. and private sector partner for SDG Investor Map for Sri Lanka.
Daily FT: UNDP in Sri Lanka together with the Government has launched the Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map, a market tool to direct private capital to segments where the country’s Sustainable Development Goals and the State’s policy and market opportunity intersect.
Sri Lanka is building pathways to rebuild its economy sustainably with the SDG framework as a guide. The SDG Investor Map will be helpful to channel investments for social and environmental objectives, and can be used by investors, enterprises and Government agencies.
The Map is a result of a collaboration between UNDP and Sri Lanka’s Sustainable Development Council, the nodal Government institution responsible for coordination, facilitation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka.
The Board of Investments (BOI) of Sri Lanka also provided input and validation during the development of the Map. Through secondary research and over 50 consultations with public and private sector organisations, the Map has identified 15 Investment Opportunity Areas that cover themes and business models across five SDG priority sectors: Renewable Energy, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Food and Beverages and Consumer Goods.
At the launch event in Colombo, the UNDP called on the private sector to adopt the SDG Impact Standards, the independent and global management standards that guide businesses and investors in their decisions to optimise interrelated economic, social and environmental impacts.
United Nations in Sri Lanka Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer-Hamdy said: “Financing the SDGs in Sri Lanka could not be a more urgent task. Even before the pandemic, Sri Lanka and other countries were on a challenging track to realise the agenda for 2030. COVID-19 widened that gap significantly. It is those who were at risk of being left behind who are now suffering the most adverse effects.
“A massive societal effort is needed to bring them back on course. Private capital is a key part of that mix. There are enough financial assets in the world to meet the financing needs of agenda 2030. The challenge is how to channel these resources through SDG related sectors that generate sustained impacts. So, the SDG Investor Map offers one response to this challenge by providing intelligence that helps the private sector.”
Finance Ministry Deputy Secretary to Treasury W.A. Sarath Kumara said the Government expects once the IM programme is completed, investor confidence will be restored and encourage investments in capital and debt markets. He stressed the need to appeal to private investors both domestic and foreign in a sustainable manner.
Innovative financial mechanisms become imperative to synergise the Government, private and capital markets to generate the additional resources to finance the SDGs. Accordingly, the SDG Investor Map is a timely intervention that will support potential investors, Kumara added.
SDG Impact is a UNDP flagship initiative to accelerate private sector contributions towards sustainability and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Its aim is to make it easier for organisations to place sustainability, the SDGs and managing impact at the core of business and investment purposes.
SDG Impact Director Fabienne Michaux said: “While there is much to be done, there is a great opportunity for the private sector to integrate sustainability and the SDGs into their investments and businesses to help Sri Lanka build forward better. The Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map has done a large part of the leg-work by identifying those sectors that will have the most development impact and that are aligned to the Government’s SDG targets.”
The SDG Investor Map has opened up a series of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. With Sri Lanka working towards becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region, foreign businesses/investors could explore the fast diversifying business/investment opportunities in the country. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the strong trade ties enjoyed by the country have further added to the country’s attraction as a fast growing business destination in the region. The government of Sri Lanka has also initiated several incentive schemes for foreign businesses/investors entering the country. Given the growing business potential in the country and the SDG Investor Map, foreign businesses/investors could find a direction in identifying the best opportunities suited for each business entity.
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