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Colombie Medellin
In the race against time to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, attention is turning to the more than 500 public development banks worldwide. Their involvement is becoming increasingly urgent, and they will be meeting at the fourth annual Finance in Common Summit (FiCS) in Cartagena, Colombia on September 4-6. We discuss their role and related issues in this interview Adama Mariko, FiCS General Secretary and AFD Deputy Director of Strategy, Partnerships, and Communications.

What are some of the main objectives of this FiCS 2023? 
Adama Mariko: The goal of FiCS 2023 is to consolidate and progress on what has been put in place in recent years. Public development banks (PDBs) will focus on suspending debts for example, and how to help certain countries use their capacity to store carbon in exchange for forgiving part of their debt.

Discussions will be further enriched by the expertise elsewhere in the ecosystem: we have input from civil society organizations, researchers, and the private sector. Each round-table will involve all these stakeholders in technical exchanges and practical conclusions culminating in the publication of a work schedule with clear objectives.

A look at the FICS 2023 schedule

How far have you come since 2022?

The first FiCS commitment was the ambitious joint declaration made in 2020. An important milestone has been reached: all the multilateral banks have now signed this declaration. Each year, the FiCS office tracks progress in implementing the declaration.

One of the advances is that the PDB platform for funding sustainable agricultural systems, set up with the support of AFD by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2021, is now up and running. Sixty-six percent of the world's agricultural funding comes from public banks, including initiatives to combat famine and reduced yields due to drought for example. This platform enables public banks and other stakeholders to come together to provide technical assistance to national banks or to invest funds in project preparation. The teams are now in place and the first projects have been funded. 

For the first time this year, we will also set up a coalition of banks focusing on funding for the blue economy and committing to a number of key objectives.

Find out more about AFD Group's Financial Systems activity

What will this year's main themes be? 

One of the main themes will be financial inclusion, the core business of this year's host bank, Bancóldex. Access to the financial system is a key factor in development and support for entrepreneurship is crucial, especially for women. 

Climate and biodiversity will also be the focus of the discussions, as will funding for sustainable infrastructure, a key theme at the New Global Financing Pact summit in June. 

Participants will also reflect on "corporate" topics such as "how public banks can work to lift regulatory constraints to increase their development funding capacities". 

Watch the video Making financial systems more inclusive and responsible

This is the first time the FiCS has been held in Latin America. What prompted this decision?

Colombia is a fertile testing ground [for developmental ideas], connected to the Amazon and the blue economy. The country is committed to the ecological transition and has a lot to share with the rest of the world.

Banks have been cooperating and exchanging experiences for many years through regional bank associations. But the FiCS goes one step further: it brings these banks together with a united voice, so that they can contribute on an equal footing to debates at major international fora like the United Nations or the COP for instance. 

Discover the conclusions of the FiCS 2023 summit 

The FiCS 2023 Summit is co-organized by the Inter-American Development Bank, Bancóldex, the Latin American Association of Development Financing Institutions (ALIDE), CAF, the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European Investment Bank.

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