In its inaugural webinar, “Sustainable Finance in Emerging Markets – Views from MENA”, the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) invited Dr Dalia Abdel Kader, CIB’s Chief Sustainability Officer, as a lead contributor.
This presented an opportunity for Abdel Kader to share her insights on the state of sustainable finance in emerging markets, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She highlighted the overlapping features of the emerging markets’ sustainable finance agenda with trends in mature markets.
“The financial sector in the MENA region is characterised by its solvency and strong financial position despite consecutive global crises,” she said, “Sustainable finance will help accelerate the transformation towards financial inclusion, increase the use of digital solutions, and achieve green economy.”
She added that the funding gap estimated at around $280bn year-on-year (y-o-y) needs to be filled to implement the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“It requires the flow of foreign investment, capital markets, and bank funding,” she noted, “Financial institutions are essential for creating the mechanisms needed to strengthen the role of relevant parties and establish governance structures that organise sustainable development financing processes.”
Abdel Kader also said that the MENA region is a net exporter of capital. Its own financial resources are sufficient to achieve economic growth and social and environmental development, which is where the vital role of the banking sector comes into play.
The webinar discussion included comparisons between sustainable finance in emerging and mature markets and where emerging markets fit into the global sustainable finance agenda. It also shed light on the engagement of regulators and industry actors in emerging markets with regards to sustainable finance.
Moreover, there were discussions on identifying risks and opportunities related to sustainability in emerging markets, and the increasing importance of ESG to mobilise private capital into emerging markets. At the same time, the webinar looked at the significant role of sustainability experts in promoting the sustainability agenda.
The webinar took place on 24 February, and was hosted by IIF General Counsel Liz Roberts. It included Deloitte’s Damian Hales to present the key takeaways from the Deloitte/IIF survey on “The Future of the Chief Sustainability Officer”, focusing on the increasing role of CSOs in shaping the sustainability agenda globally.