The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), together with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), has organized a high-level side event during the third China International Import Expo. The event, supported by the China Chamber of International Commerce, was entitled, “Understanding and Harnessing the Role of Impact Investing for ‘Building Back Better’ in Times of the Global COVID-19 Crisis”, and participants considered the issue on the context of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the Decade of Action.
In his opening remarks, UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, commended China’s post-pandemic economic recovery. He pointed out that “in the post-pandemic world, impact investment, innovation and recovery are inextricably interlinked. It will be imperative that investments and stimulus packages seize the opportunity to ‘Build Back Better’.”
CCPIT Chairperson, GAO Yan, noted that the world is undergoing unprecedented changes. “Building a community of common destiny is the golden key to solving global challenges,” she said, adding that a more sustainable model of economic and social development needs to be built on innovation, coordination, green development, openness and sharing, and that impact investment should be expanded.
ZHOU Yueqiu, Chief Economist of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director at UNIDO, and CHEN Zhong, Vice President of the China Communications Construction Company, delivered keynote speeches.
The ensuing panel discussion provided an opportunity to eminent business leaders and other stakeholders to share their in-depth views on how to foster economic recovery in a post-pandemic world in practice through impact investing. There was agreement that the impact of the pandemic will be felt across sectors and supply chains well beyond the crisis. Panellists also concurred that the crisis provides an opportunity. Channelling investments into key areas of technological innovation, such as artificial intelligence, clean energy, and others, has the potential to improve product sustainability, and to promote global environmental governance and sustainable development.