2 July 2019, Addis Ababa – UNDP and the Ethiopian Investment Commission organized a forum to promote sustainable investment in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partner countries. This forum is part of the Sustainable Investment Platform Facilities Programme (BRI-SIP Programme), which is supported by the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund (UNPDF) of UNDESA. The programme aims to promote sustainable investment along the Belt and Road by strengthening partner countries’ capacities and enhancing environmental, social and governance (ESG) sustainability of financial investment in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The investment forum brings over 100 participants from public and private sectors in Ethiopia, China and other South-South countries to facilitate dialogues, cross-sector partnerships for incorporating ESG factors into policy formulation and the decision making process for inclusive and sustainable investment.
Today’s topics of discussions include the outcome of the 2019 Belt and Road Forum with Ethiopia-specific deliberations, incorporation of ESG factors into investment decisions; as well as identification of thematic areas for further analysis upon which to base subsequent activities. An industrial park visit will also be arranged on July 3rd to complement the discussion.
The forum is expected to enhance strategic partnerships to leverage investment opportunities to match national priorities and direct BRI financing towards critical sectors for economic growth and regional cooperation. It will also explore perspectives, opportunities and challenges of sustainable investment in BRI partner countries.
Speaking at the event, UNDP Ethiopia Resident Representative Mr. Turhan Saleh said, “UNDP supports the Government of Ethiopia in promoting sustainable investments by strengthening national capacities to establish a network of Sustainable Investment Promotion (SIP) facilities to translate the benefits gained from investments to advance human development agenda.”
UNDP’s engagement in the BRI is primarily aimed at assisting partner countries to maximize their potential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by using the opportunities provided by the BRI in a way that is in line with local development priorities.
“We are very excited to have Ethiopia as the first pilot country for this project, which promotes the realization of the 2030 agenda both in Ethiopia and globally using the BRI’s potential to accelerate SDG attainment.” said Mr. Balázs Horváth, UNDP Senior Economic Advisor for Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, and Strategic Advisor on the BRI.
Ethiopia was selected as the first pilot country for the BRI-SIP Programme in partnership with UNDP and China. The aim is to address development challenges by establishing an environment for sustainable investment, and to foster a balance between BRI partner countries’ demands and external investors’ interests.
H.E. Ato Abebe Abebayehu, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) highlighted, “While achieving high-level growth is critical, the government will continue to pursue to achieve sustainable development.” He underlined the importance of UNDP’s Sustainable Investment Platform Facility as a useful tool for attracting the right types of investment in Ethiopia.
H.E. Mr. Tan Jian, Ambassador of China to Ethiopia noted that the BRI is not about expanding the sphere of influence over Africa but about building a platform for a community with a shared vision to strengthen cooperation, connectivity (in policy, infrastructure, trade, financing and people) and complementarity.
For more information and media requests, please contact:
UNDP Ethiopia: Nardos Mengesha, Communications Analyst, +251 929111774
UNDP China: Ms. Zhang Wei, Chief Communications Officer, +8610 8532 0715