Over 500 Public Development Banks (PDBs) around the world are intensifying their cooperation and strengthening their commitment to supporting recovery and economic growth at a global level, promoting a sustainable development model towards which to direct increasing attention and financial resources, both in the public and private sectors.
The second edition of the Finance in Common Summit (FiCS) held this year in Rome by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Italian Financial Institution for Development Cooperation, focused on these issues. The event was held in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, a UN specialised agency for the increase of agricultural activities in backward countries) and with the support of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI), the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), as well as the entire FiCS coalition.
The international conference of the FiCS is included in the G20 Italian Presidency calendar, as mentioned in the Event contained in the Final Declaration of the "G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors" of 13 October. In 2022, the FiCS will present a report on the progress of its activities to the current G20 Presidency, testifying to the crucial role played by the global PDBs which, at the aggregate level, represent investments for over 2 trillion dollars, around 10% of total global investments, and act as a link between public policies and the private sector.
The 2021 edition of the FiCS was attended by over 150 speakers from all over the world, with 10 thematic sessions, 5 plenary sessions, 3 sessions on strategic analyses and scenarios and 3 round tables between the PDBs and their main stakeholders. In the course of the work, coordination between the PDBs around the world was further strengthened in order to amplify the impacts of their joint actions on a global scale. The work of the Summit focused on the main challenges of our times, such as: the development of sustainable agri-food systems, food security, the fight against and adaptation to climate change, biodiversity protection, responsible finance, gender equality and social inclusion, sustainable development of the private sector.
The event also represented an opportunity to continue the dialogue between the PDB community and civil society, the private sector, local governments, donors, philanthropic organisations and think tanks to ensure their involvement in actions and projects.
In the first edition of the FiCS, held in November 2020 in Paris, the PDBs had agreed on the implementation of a set of coordinated actions, aimed at addressing the economic, social and environmental challenges amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic and at accelerating, through their collective endeavours, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda and the objectives of the international climate agreements.
Furthermore, the 2021 Finance in Common Summit was an opportunity to sign:
- A letter of intent between CDP and FAO to build a solid partnership on food safety issues and implement joint project initiatives designed to support the agri-food sector in rural areas of developing countries.
- The Joint Declaration on the "European Strategic Cooperation Framework" between the four European bilateral financial institutions - CDP, the French AFD, the German KfW and the Spanish AECID - part of the Enhanced Partnership with the European Union. The objective is to further consolidate its action through a joint initiative that will lead to the structuring of a co-financing platform, for which the Joint Declaration will govern the partnership modus operandi, principles and objectives, along with a co-financing contractual framework and pipeline sharing activities.
- The launch of the "PDBs Platform for Green and Inclusive Food Systems" by IFAD, CDP and other PDBs with the support of AFD, aimed at accelerating greener and more inclusive investments in agriculture and in food processing, packaging and transport activities. This initiative is part of the Coalition for Action for Inclusive and Sustainable Food System Finance, which can rely on over 72 PDBs specialised or strongly committed to the agricultural sector, which together represent two thirds of global investments in agriculture. These institutions aim to leverage their role as a catalyst of public and private resources to steer agriculture and food systems towards a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive direction, while ensuring their productivity and sustainability in trade.
The Finance in Common coalition also reiterated its commitment to tackling climate change. The PDBs are thus increasing new lending for the climate, as evidenced by the investment in "green projects" to the tune of USD 1,000Bn by the 26 PDBs belonging to the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) and the commitments to further funding by 2025. The Public Development Banks are also supporting more ambitious national projects and long-term strategies in favour of a reduction in the amount of funding for fossil fuels.
"Since November 2020 - underlined Adama Mariko, Secretary General of the Finance in Common summit - the entire PDB community has structured its governance and has taken important steps forward to fully exploit its overall potential to achieve sustainable and effective results for all populations and all territories. We are looking forward to continuing these discussions at COP26 and COP15 and to reporting to the G20 and all parties as we continue to press on ambitious mandates, resources and capabilities to better align ourselves with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement."
The Chairman of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Giovanni Gorno Tempini stated: "The Finance in Common Summit 2021 that CDP had the honour of hosting in Rome represented an important opportunity for international debate to reaffirm and strengthen the commitment to act as a single system, so that the 500+ development banks can unleash their full potential immediately. Indeed, the pandemic and the ensuing socio-economic crisis have contributed to amplifying global inequalities and highlighting the urgent need to review the current growth models. In this context, cooperation between Public Development Banks, such as CDP, will play a crucial role in addressing the complex challenges of the future with the aim of a sustainable and long-term economic recovery''.
The Chairman of the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), Gilbert F. Houngbo, declared: “I am very pleased to see the commitment made by the PDBs to accelerate green and inclusive investments in agricultural and food systems, which is particularly crucial in view of the COP26 negotiations. This will support millions of small rural farmers to adapt to climate change and improve their livelihoods and incomes. Finance in Common shows that by joining forces we can build a better world”.
Rémy Rioux, CEO of Agence Française de Développement, stated “One year only after we gathered for the first time ever all the 530 public development banks (PDBs) operating at the multilateral, international, regional and local levels, the second edition of the FiCS, hosted by the Italian CDP in partnership with IFAD, shows that this movement is gaining ground. FiCS, which represented more than 2 trillion dollars of investments in 2020, fosters multi-stakeholder coalitions and contributes to the global financial discussion, from the Summit on the Financing of African economies to the G20. Driven by a strong consensus on the need to mobilize PDBs to recover from the crisis by further investing for the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, FiCS has become a platform for sustainable initiatives for our governments, our partners and our clients. We are honored and proud that the UN Secretary-General as well as the G20 endorse our contribution to the international agenda for climate, ahead of COP 26, and for nature, a few months before the conclusion of COP 15, with a specific focus on agroecology and food systems.”
The Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how connected we are and how much value we can create by working together on innovative solutions to revive our economies. The Public Development Banks all together have a strong impact. Finance in Common shows that the better we coordinate, the more we can drive change and support projects that have a positive impact on the planet and its people”.
Further reading: PBS in action: A Progress Report One Year On
The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said: “As we look ahead to hosting the Finance in Common Summit in 2022, we will continue our work to reinforce African financial institutions and to mobilize financing for African economies. In the wake of Covid-19, the imperative to close the financing gap has never been greater.”
During the summit, some academic research was presented which demonstrates the central role of PDBs in implementing the financial support required to sustain long term development: the integral materials of these studies will be made accessible on the financeincommon.org website.
The next edition of the Summit (FiCS 2022) will be hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and by the European Investment Bank (EIB).