Global institutions advocate Islamic finance to fund the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

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The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) teamed up with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to advocate the use of Islamic finance to close funding gaps in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At a forum jointly hosted by the three organisations held today on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly, global industry leaders discussed how Islamic finance, which adheres to the values of sustainability entrenched in the SDG framework, provides an innovative financing mechanism for the private sector to support the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meeting the SDGs require funding and technical support far beyond the scope of individual governments and multilateral agencies. The UNDP estimates it will take between USD5 to USD7 trillion to fund SDGs by 2030, while there are wider investment gap in developing countries of about USD2.5 trillion.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia His Excellency Dr. Mahathir Mohamad delivered the honorary keynote address at the forum titled “Achieving the SDGs: Unleashing the Potential of Islamic Finance through Innovative Investors and Instruments”.

The SC, UNDP and IsDB have also committed to further collaboration in advancing the use of Islamic finance in funding the SDGs through capacity building workshops, awareness initiatives and international dialogues specifically to promote green sukuk as a funding mechanism.

Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman of the SC said, “The SC will continue to facilitate the development of the green financing ecosystem and leverage Malaysia’s position as a leader in the Islamic capital market to encourage innovation and collaboration in advancing the funding of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

With underlying principles that emphasise equitable risk sharing and inclusiveness, Islamic finance is significantly aligned with the values of responsible investing and is receiving wide acceptance as an ideal funding solution to finance sustainable infrastructure projects. Green sukuk, in particular, has emerged as an innovative

financing vehicle for projects aimed at environmental protection and combating climate change such as solar energy and green infrastructure projects.

Malaysia, with its leading position in developing the global Islamic finance ecosystem, has the largest market of sustainable investing in Asia (ex-Japan). The SC has paved the way for the convergence of Islamic instruments and sustainable financing with the introduction of the Sustainable Responsible Investment Sukuk Framework, which facilitated the issuance of the world’s first green sukuk out of Malaysia in 2017. Malaysia has issued a total of six green sukuk to date.

For more information about the forum, contact Ms. Navina Balasingam at navinab@seccom.com.my