Speech of UN Under-Secretary General, UNDP Associate Administrator, Tegegnework Gettu

 

Your Excellences,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to the Business Dialogue on the second day of the 2018 High Level Policy Forum on Global Governance. I want to take this opportunity again to thank our co-organizer China Centre for International Exchange (CCIEE), the local host the Municipal Government of Guangzhou and the communication partner Xinhua Outlook Weekly.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently affirmed that inspired business leaders are crucially needed to succeed with shaping an inclusive and especially sustainable economy. And this business dialogue today underscores one more time that the business community acts as the spine of the Belt and Road Initiative – not only bridging the funding gap needed to achieve the sustainable development goals, but also as catalyzers for positive development impact. Today we will focus on the role of the private sector in greening the Belt an Road, and continue the conversations on innovative finance, inclusive and sustainable businesses, as well as opening up our thinking to reflect on how new technologies such as artificial intelligence can benefit sustainable development .

Yesterday, the crucial consensus on enabling and inclusive policy frameworks as cornerstones of the Belt and Road Initiative were reviewed and expanded. It is our sincere intention for today’s business dialogue to find common grounds in the extensive field of finance models for a sustainable the Belt and Road. In light of yesterday’s results we want to closely examine approaches such as public-private-partnerships, blended finance, green bonds and social impact investment strategies. Combined with rapid technological advancements, we are equipped with all necessary tools to finance the Sustainable Development Goals, to create business opportunities and address investment gaps in partner countries to provide green and social inclusive infrastructure. Our collaborative effort, ladies and gentlemen, now requires us to convene and to make smart choices to step in the right direction.

The private sector features outstanding capacities and unique responsibility to successfully green infrastructure in partner countries along the Belt and Road Initiative. We firmly believe that Chinese and international enterprises play the pivotal role for a low-carbon economy, increased livelihood, improved health, new jobs, less poverty and more equality. This is where UNDP recognizes a strong mutual interest of businesses and the people along the Belt and Road. Consequently, we think business leaders understand that the standardized incorporation of Environmental, Social and Governance criteria is a vital step for business success. It is not just a corporate social responsibility, rather a necessity for a sustainable future and long-term success in business terms as well.

Taking these big steps toward a sustainable future, however, does not come without complex risks. We are concerned about possible threats new technologies pose to privacy, equality and general ethics. In addition, we are facing financing and project risks in complicated investment environments. Nevertheless, we are very confident that the assembled experts and distinguished participants will not only emphasize the sustainable business opportunities, but also accentuate de-risking strategies and emphasize the responsibility of the private sector for a sustainable implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ladies and gentlemen, the importance of a business dialogue as we have it today is, more than ever, genuinely needed. I welcome everybody to this dialogue and I look forward to encouraging, uniting and fruitful discussions as well as distinct results.

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