Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the private sector needs to be taken on board to address the financing gaps in implementing the SDGs as mobilisation of financial resources for the purpose appeared as a major challenge for governments.
“According to UNCTAD, the world will need 3.3 to 4.5 trillion dollars every year to achieve the SDGs. Partnership with the private sector is, therefore, critical for financing SDGs,” she told a high level discourse on UN General Assembly sidelines.
The event titled “Creating a Policy Vision for SDG Finance Facilitating Private Sector Investment in the SDGs” was held at the UN headquarters.
The Bangladesh premier told the interaction that the private sector in developing countries already accounted for 60% of GDP, 80% of capital flows and 90% of jobs, earning their stake and obligation in SDG implementations, BSS reports.
“In Bangladesh, our private sector is coming forward as a strong and willing partner,” she said adding that responding to their interests her government set up a number of entities under Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to mobilise increased private sector investment for SDG.
The Bangladesh premier said it was encouraging to see that the private sector was taking SDGs seriously across the globe and “the companies around the world are including SDGs into their corporate mission statements and sustainable business plans”.
Sheikh Hasina said the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority was working on promoting large investments, with focus on FDI while the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority was working to set up 100 Special Economic Zones in next few years.
“FDI in Bangladesh rose from under 1 billion dollars in 2010 to 2.5 billion in 2016,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina thanked UNDP for recognising the potential for such investments and creating the UNDP Social Impact Finance (UNSIF).
This can be a useful tool for private finances to complement government and donor funding for SDGs.
The first investment of UNSIF will be in Bangladesh under the banner of the “Build Bangladesh – UNDP Impact Fund”.
It adds to the list of many “innovative firsts” that Bangladesh offered to the world and the Fund will start with affordable housing, with the support of Chinese impact investors, the prime minister said.
Sheikh Hasina said she is looking forward to work together to enhance private sector contribution to a sustainable future for all.
Earlier the prime minister attended a high level side event on SDG Implementation, Financing and Monitoring.
Addressing the side event the prime minister laid importance on sharing the innovations of different countries through South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
Sheikh Hasina said the countries in the South are often well- positioned to understand each other’s development realities and challenges. We, therefore, need to promote a deeper understanding and broader exchange within the South.
She said Bangladesh has innovated a simple but powerful tool called SDG Tracker which can be used for comprehensive target setting and tracking progress of each SDG, along with the indicators.
“It is an innovative platform that takes advantage of the massive data revolution.With the launch of the SDG Tracker, we are making it available for countries in the South,” she said.