Paving the Way for Sustainable Finance to Support a Resilient Recovery in Malaysia

New sustainable and inclusive finance solutions that Malaysia and other developing countries are tapping into to support a resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be the focus of a week-long finance event jointly organized by Bank Negara Malaysia and The World Bank Group and starting today.

The Sustainable and Inclusive Finance Forum will feature sessions on innovative tools. The forum will also see the launch of a series of World Bank reports on Malaysia’s experience in developing its financial sector and two sessions related the Green Finance Leadership Program co-organized with Tsinghua University.

“This forum will showcase Malaysia’s important contributions to the global priorities of environmental sustainability and financial inclusion,” said Victoria Kwakwa, The World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific. “Financial instruments that reduce vulnerability and increase opportunities for vulnerable groups can be promoted along with investments that accelerate the transition toward a carbon-neutral, more resource-efficient and competitive economy.”

“The pandemic has provided an impetus for us to reset and reprioritize resources to reconstruct our economies and financial systems to be more sustainable and inclusive,” said Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Bank Negara Governor. “While our immediate priority is to safeguard both lives and livelihoods in this pandemic, the world must not lose sight of its goal to pursue a better and more sustainable future for all, such as that set out by the Sustainable Development Goals.”

One highlight of the Forum will be progress on the Green Sukuk initiative since its first issuance three years ago. Green Sukuk was an initiative by Bank Negara Malaysia, Securities Commission Malaysia and The World Bank Group to create a new instrument to channel global Islamic financing flows toward green and sustainable investment projects. The experience of this initiative will be captured in a new report that will be launched during the Forum. The report notes that as of July 2020, there has been US$6.1 billion issuances of Green Sukuk globally.

Another initiative to be highlighted during the Forum is a new World Bank guide on how to develop a national green taxonomy. This taxonomy was launched recently to help regulators in emerging economies “green’ their financial systems by identifying investments that are in line with environmental objectives. With World Bank support, BNM has issued a discussion paper on climate change and the development of a principle-based taxonomy, with the goal of assisting Malaysia’s financial sector in identifying and classifying economic activities.

Another new World Bank report on Malaysia’s domestic bond markets will be launched during the Forum. It finds that Malaysia’s ability to develop specific segments of the debt capital market have been best reflected in infrastructure and Islamic financing. The value of the Malaysian project-finance bond market stands among the world’s biggest, with Malaysia ranking 21st out of 137 countries for the quality of its infrastructure.

Through its Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub in Kuala Lumpur, the World Bank Group is working in close partnership with the Malaysian Government to support the country’s inclusive growth ambitions and its global leadership role in promoting sustainable and inclusive finance goals.