‘Integrated investment by FIs required to achieve SDGs’

Experts opine at discussion on SDGs

Experts in a discussion meeting said to achieve sustainable economic goals, SDGs by 2030, banks and financial institutions along with the government should invest properly. 

Besides, backward, fallen behind, and deprived people should be involved more in economic activities, they said.

They made the remarks on Friday during an online discussion on the role of financial institutions in achieving SDGs organised by Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association (BLFCA) and Banik Barta, a leading national daily.

PKSF Chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister's Office Md. Abdul Karim, also Senior Adviser of BRAC and chairman of IPDC Finance Ltd, Bangladesh Bank DFIM Executive Director Md. Shah Alam, and Director (Training) of BIBM Professor Shah Md. Ahsan Habib were discussants at the meeting. BLFCA Chairman, also Managing Director and CEO of IPDC, Mominul Islam delivered the introductory speech while BLFCA First Vice Chairman Golam Sarwar Bhuiyan, also MD and CEO of IIDFC, made the closing remarks.

In the introductory speech, Mominul Islam said, “Corona made the achieving of SDGs more challenging than ever. Hence, everyone needs to be more focused on their goals from respective places. We need to put more emphasis on economic recovery.”

Financial institutions, in future, will work more closely with government initiatives to achieve the goals, he said, adding that those institutions who incorporated sustainable development into their business strategies became more financially successful.

Qazi Kholiquzzaman said by achieving economic development, one of the three indicators the SDG, improved living standards, multifaceted poverty reduction, gender equality, employment, inclusive investment based on equality, and proper use of resources are to be ensured. 

Banks, financial institutions, microfinance institutions, insurance sector and capital market need to play an effective role beside the government to implement these, he said.

Md. Abdul Karim pointed out that the main challenge before achieving the SDGs is inadequate funding. Financial institutions should come forward to invest in cottage-small-medium industries, empowering women, forming social funds for human resource and health sector development, and implementing environment-friendly projects. 

Md. Shah Alam highlighted the inclusive and environment-friendly projects implemented by various non-bank financial institutions in the country and described various policy support and financial assistance provided by Bangladesh Bank regarding this.

He said the entire financial sector rather than a few banks or financial institutions should work for sustainable economic development.