ADFIAP, represented by its senior consultant and lead adviser on sustainable and green finance of the ADFIAP Consulting team Mr. Victor C. Abainza, actively participated in the 5th Annual Conference of the SWITCH Asia Programme’s Steering Committee, held at the Le Meridien Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 9 and 10. This event brought together over 140 representatives, both in-person and online, from ongoing grant-funded projects across Asia, Central Asia, Mongolia, and China. The attendees included government officials from the 42 eligible countries, as well as select regional organizations, partners, and experts specializing in Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices. The two-day conference once again underscored the EU SWITCH Asia Programme’s dedication to advancing green and circular economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr. Abainza is one of the two external consultants/experts engaged in the Finance and Investments Technical Advisory Component of the Switch Asia Programme. The other expert, Mr. Sanjoy Sanyal, specializes in climate finance and operates his boutique consulting firm, Regain Paradise, based in Hyderabad, India.
The two finance experts unveiled their preliminary findings from the ongoing landscaping and mapping study focused on financial institutions (FIs) engaged in sustainable finance across selected Asian countries. In essence, the research study outcomes will provide valuable insights to support the ESFD Plus EU Asia Investment Teams as part of the EU Global Gateway and Green Deal Programs. These initiatives aim to enhance the accessibility of financing channels for MSMEs and promote sustainable consumption and production practices.
Among the key takeaways from the session presentations are as follows:
– International DFIs offer SME financing through various channels, including direct credit lines to local FIs, investments in private sector projects, and contributions to investment funds.
– While these financial resources are accessible to both large and middle-income countries, SMEs in these nations utilize them to support innovations and enhance the adoption of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) technologies across various sectors. Notably, smaller innovative companies receive limited investments.
– Credit lines provided by local FIs are increasingly incorporating SCP considerations into their financing activities.
– However, there remains room for improvement in providing sustainable financing to SMEs involved in SCP-related initiatives. Some credit lines lack a strong environmental focus, while investment funds are often multi-sectoral, with climate considerations as just one component. Direct investment projects may not prioritize environmental sustainability.
– The experts recommended the creation of stronger demand for SCP investments and financing by offering incentives to encourage FIs’ involvement in green and climate financing. Additionally, large Asian companies could play a role as “anchor partners” in promoting SCP practices within their supply chains.
– To foster low-carbon, climate-resilient MSMEs, local financial institutions should enhance their capacities to meet international or regional standards, particularly concerning circular economies in the 42 eligible countries of the SWITCH Asia Programme.
In conclusion, the wide array of topics, the high caliber of workshop discussions, and the lively networking sessions collectively rendered this two-day conference an exceptionally significant and memorable occasion.