The ‘Strengthening Institutional Capacity for SDGs Achievement in Bangladesh (SC4SDG)’ project of UNDP Bangladesh and UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals project successfully organized a high-profile national dialogue with the public and private sectors titled “Blended Finance to Support Green Development in Bangladesh” on 23 November 2021. The event was organized jointly with the General Economics Division (GED) of Bangladesh Planning Commission.
Mr. M. A. Mannan MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest of the event. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Honorable Minister of State, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh attended as the Special Guest and Dr. Md. Kawser Ahmed, Member (Secretary), General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission attended as Guest of Honor in the event. The consultation was presided over by Mr. Md. Mafidul Islam, Chief (Additional Secretary), General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission.
Mr. Mahesh Mishra, Head of Prosperity and Economic Growth Team, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), British High Commission, Dhaka; Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguish Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Professor Shibli Rubayet-Ul-Islam, Chairman, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) were present as Speakers at the national dialogue. Mr. Ranjit Kumar Chakraborty, Advisor, Economic Policy Unit, UNDP Bangladesh joined the dialogue as a panelist. They talked about the importance of innovative and sustainable financing, especially blended finance to reduce the investment gap and stimulate the green development process in Bangladesh.
Around 72 participants from different ministries/divisions, private sector organizations, international financial institutions, UN agencies, think tanks, and universities attended this important event. During the discussion, the attendees were briefed about the concept of blended finance and its efficacy to support the ‘green development’ projects. The importance, opportunities, and challenges of promoting blended finance to mobilize resources for green COVID-19 recovery in Bangladesh were also brought into the discussion. The distinguished guests informed the audience about the interventions on blended finance that have already been taken in Bangladesh. They emphasized identifying the bankable projects and developing a roadmap for implementing the blended finance strategy in the country. The guests and participants including the government stakeholders discussed different types of sustainable bonds (i.e., green bonds, blue bonds, etc.) and how the government and private sector can collaborate to promote blended finance. The experts added that the concept of blended finance is new for Bangladesh and recommended initiating some research studies on blended finance to leverage development funds effectively and catalyze the country’s COVID-19 green recovery strategy.