Press release: Financing for a Sustainable Future: Cambodian banks come together to strengthen actions on sustainable and responsible finance
According to Bloomberg, more than US$600 billion in green bonds have been issued worldwide in the last decade. For the first time ever, the discussion around sustainable finance in Cambodia has become extremely topical as financial institutions are starting to take actions to support achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inclusive economic development, and promotes human rights for all.
In turn, there is a need for financial institutions to build up their capacity on environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. Building on this momentum, Oxfam in Cambodia and CSR Asia, as part of the Fair Finance Asia initiative by Oxfam, funded by the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok, conducted a half day training today to help key financial institutions better understand their role in securing a sustainable future and the business case for sustainable practices.
The half-day event, which saw an active participation by representatives of more than 20 financial institutions, was conducted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It focussed on building an understanding of the latest ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)-related challenges for Cambodian banks, the need for integrating ESG criteria in investment decisions and, the role that financial sector can play in achieving sustainable development.
Mr Richard Welford, the Chairman, CSR Asia, said, "Financial Institutions has a critical role to play in the achievement of the SDGs, which provide a perfect framework for FIs to report on their impact and contribution to society. The large participation in this event highlights that Cambodian banks are already taking aspects of sustainable finance seriously, and we hope that this becomes a priority in times to come."
Oxfam Cambodia’s Country Director, Ms Solinn Lim said, “It is increasingly being seen that for sustainable development to continue, Financial Institutions need to take strong steps towards institutionalizing ESG criteria in their core business decisions. We, the Fair Finance initiative in Cambodia, would like to extend our support to FIs and other public and private stakeholders in enabling the same. This event was a first step towards such a collaboration, and now we should strategize on a continued engagement towards building a more sustainable Cambodia.”
Dr In Channy, Chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia, said in the launching ceremony of the Cambodia Sustainable Finance Principles and its Implementation Guidelines in March 2019: “Through the Cambodian Sustainable Finance Principles, we strive to be a success story in Southeast Asia, while also strengthening the trust of external markets and investors in our adherence to international best practices”. He said the banking sector could make a significant contribution to a more sustainable and prosperous Cambodia by building people’s awareness and leading by example.
Fair Finance in Cambodia is an initiative by Oxfam to ensure that financial institutions in the region give due considerations to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in their business activities and investment decisions. Cambodia is one of the seven countries in Asia, which is a part of the Fair Finance Asia programme.
Ms Naratevy Kek