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Boosting Financing for Development (FfD) is fundamental for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and UN Secretary General’s Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development assign a significant role to the United Nations system in supporting the efforts of developing countries in pursuit of the SDGs. In Asia and the Pacific, The Declaration on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration (RECI) provides ESCAP with a mandate to enhance financial cooperation in the areas of financial inclusion, capital markets, climate finance, and public-private partnership.

Over the past five years, ESCAP has conducted broad-based consultations towards the development of a regional vision on financing for development, with a focus on four priority areas:

  1. Infrastructure financing through public-private partnerships (PPP). ESCAP has established the Infrastructure Financing and PPP Network of Asia and the Pacific as a multilateral platform to support countries in developing infrastructure financing strategies and preparing sustainable PPP projects.
  2. Climate Finance: ESCAP works with Asia-Pacific financial sector regulators in promoting frameworks/guidelines on sustainable finance, as well as with financial institutions in mainstreaming the environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) into their operations.
  3. Capital market development: ESCAP provides technical assistance to member States on (a) implementing and advising on the issuance of sovereign green/SDGs/social bonds and (b) collaborating with international experts to align criteria and taxonomy for the issuance of green/SDGs/social labelled bonds.
  4. Financial inclusion and financing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). ESCAP initiated a comprehensive Framework for Country Studies on Access to Finance by MSMEs to guide the preparation of national studies in selected Asia-Pacific countries. ESCAP also works on leveraging the potential of fintech in helping MSME gain access to finance and in transferring remittance incomes.

The choice of these topics reflects Asia Pacific’s enormous challenges in financing its rapid urbanization, ambitious infrastructure initiatives, and social-environmental spending, all of which are necessary to effectively pursue the 2030 Agenda.