UN-ADFIAP bilateral Meeting Successful

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The United Nations, represented by its New York-based Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) through its Financing for Development Office (FfD), and ADFIAP held a bilateral meeting on financing for development issues on December 17, 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand on the occasion of ADFIAP’s CEO Forum IV held also in the Thai capital. The SME Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) hosted the event together with ADFIAP.

The UNDESA was represented by Dr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Mr. Alexander Trepelkov, FfD’s Chief for Multistake Holder Engagement and Outreach Branch and Mr. Daniel Platz, FfD’s Economic Affairs Officer, NGO Focal Point. Dr. Jomo inaugurated the event by providing an overview of the Monterrey Consensus which set into motion the activities of the FfD, its current achievements and the challenges ahead. Mr. Fuimaono Falefa Lima, ADFIAP Vice Chairman and General Manager of the Development Bank of Samoa welcomed the delegates.

The meeting was highlighted by two main sessions, one on the topic “National and Regional Development Banks: Potential and Sustainability” and the other on “Responsible Infrastructure Investment: Financing Access to Basic Utilities”.

In the first session, Dr. Ravi Ratnayake, Director, Poverty and Development Division, of the Bangkok-based UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), presented the region’s enormous infrastructure development needs, their financing requirements, and potential opportunities for national development finance institutions in this regard. Dr. Sailendra Narain, Chairman, Centre for SME Growth and Development Finance (India) presented a paper on “DFIs at the Crossroad” with focus on the Great Mekong subregion and made a proposal on the setting up of a pilot development fund for the subregion’s financing needs. Mr. Ping Chew, Managing Director, Asia Corporate & Government Ratings, Standard and Poor’s Credit Market Services (Singapore) familiarized the delegates on S&P’s credit rating methodology, with emphasis on the DFI’s credit worthiness in raising capital in the international financial markets.

In the second session, Mr. Le Huu Ti, Chief, Sustainable Development and Water Resources Section, Environment and Sustainable Development Division, UNESCAP, presented the challenges and prospects of financing access to water and sanitation in the region while Mr. Vibhu Nayar, Project Director, Tamil Nadu Rural Water Supply Programme (India) presented the actual case study of the experience of the rural water supply programme in Tamil Nadu and environs. Mr. Daniel Platz, FfD’s Economic Affairs Officer, presented innovative approaches to water and electricity financing in developing countries based on FfD’s experiences on the ground. Finally, Mr. Niels Van Dijk, Deputy Chief of Party of USAID’s Environmental Cooperation Asia (ECO-Asia), presented their own experiences and initiatives in the area of water sanitation.

It will be recalled that the FfD Office was established in the UNDESA in accordance with General Assembly resolution as an outcome of the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus by Heads of State or Government at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002. The Monterrey Consensus embraces six areas of financing for development: (1) mobilizing domestic financial resources for development (2) mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment and other private flows (3) international trade as an engine for development (4) increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development (5) external debt and (6) addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.

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