Connect with us

Development

Islamic Finance Has an Essential Role in Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery

Published

on

Under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Chairman of the IsDB Group, the 15th IsDB Global Forum on Islamic Finance convened on Saturday, 28 August 2021.

The high-level webinar under the theme: “The Role of Islamic Finance in Post-COVID19 Economic Recovery of IsDB MCs” brought together senior development practitioners and private sector experts from the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mauritania, IsDB Group, Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank.

In his opening speech, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated poverty and stalled human development, saying that countries and development partners must come together to identify strategies for achieving a sustainable recovery.

“Human development is a crucial goal of IsDB to maintain and promote human dignity in its Member Countries. Achieving this goal starts with reducing all forms of poverty, particularly in health and education, which are essential for building human capital,” he said.

Underlining the significance of infrastructure investments for developing economies, H.E. Dr. Al Jasser stated that the growing Islamic finance industry can serve as an essential source of finance for infrastructure development in developing countries and emerging markets. “We welcome the joint World Bank – IsDB effort to develop the Islamic Finance for Infrastructure PPP Projects reference Guide which aims to shed light on the essential aspects of Islamic finance related to infrastructure public-private partnerships,” he elaborated.

H.E. Dr. Al Jasser also congratulated the winners of the IsDB Prize for Impactful Achievement in Islamic Economics for 2021, who received their awards during the forum. He added that the “prize attests to IsDB’s continuing support for innovation and progress in Islamic Economics and Finance to realise its potential for socio-economic development.”

Following the President’s speech, the Acting Director General of IsDB Institute, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, conducted the virtual presentation of certificates to the winners of the prize. Two crowdfunding platforms, LaunchGood and Seed Out, won the prestigious prize for their innovative and impactful roles in funding projects that advance the principles of Islamic economics.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Dr. Al-Suwailem thanked H.E. Dr. Al Jasser and the participants of the forum. Dr. Al-Suwailem added that “the forum this year aimed to integrate the principles of Islamic finance with the search for solutions for economic challenges facing the IsDB member countries.”

The forum also saw keynote speeches delivered by Dr. Bambang Susantono, Vice President at the Asian Development Bank, and Mr. Imad Fakhoury, Global Director, Infrastructure Finance, PPP and Guarantees (IPG) Group, World Bank. Dr. Susantono spoke on how Islamic finance can help in filling the financing gap required to kickstart the economic recovery post-COVID-19. For his part, Mr. Fakhoury focused on promoting public-private partnerships for infrastructure financing in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Following the keynote speeches, two panel sessions were held. The first session highlighted the extent of multidimensional poverty in IsDB MCs and the adverse impacts of COVID-19 while the second session focused on Islamic finance public-private partnerships as a tool to mobilize resources to support Member Countries’ economic recovery efforts.

The second panel discussed unleashing the potential of Islamic finance to revive IsDB Member Countries’ economies and address extreme poverty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading
Comments

Development

Modi Urges All Countries to Embrace Sustainable Lifestyles

Published

on

NarendraModi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India used his address to the Davos Agenda 2022 to call on all countries to shift from a throwaway culture towards more sustainable lifestyles. Modi emphasized that while India is home to 17% of the world’s population, it contributes only 5% of global emissions.

“It is very essential that we move away from today’s take-make-use-dispose economy and towards a circular economy,” he said. India, which co-launched the International Solar Alliance at COP26 to ensure universal access to affordable solar energy, today generates 40% of its energy from non-fossil sources. Modi underlined that the next phase of India’s growth will be “green, clean, sustainable and reliable”.

The prime minister questioned the ability of the world’s multilateral organizations to meet challenges that did not exist when they were created. He said that reforming these institutions is “the responsibility of every democratic country”. In a clear call for greater global cooperation, he said: “Today, more than ever before, countries need each other’s help – this is the only path to a better future.” He offered India’s vision of One Earth One Health as a means of responding to global challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change.

India is an entrepreneurial powerhouse that has created 10,000 new start-ups in the past six months and over 40 unicorns in 2021, Modi said, propelling the country into the top three in the world for billion-dollar new ventures. Its digital infrastructure is developing rapidly, with over 4.4 billion transactions taking place on its United Payments interface in the past month alone. Over the period 2020-2021, India attracted $82 billion in foreign direct investment – a new record. Modi said India is committed to becoming a trusted partner for global supply chains.

In a bid to improve the ease of doing business, Modi outlined the measures his government is taking to reduce government intervention to the minimum. He has done away with over 25,000 tax compliances in the past year and deregulated most sectors for investment, except for defence, aerospace and telecoms. His government is investing $1.3 trillion on connectivity-related infrastructure through its GatiShakti National Master Plan, which includes connecting over 6,000 villages through optical fibre. The plan’s aim, he said, is to “give new impetus to seamless connectivity for movement of goods, people and services”. India is also investing $26 billion to boost manufacturing and resilient supply chains.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the importance of collective and synchronized action to face global challenges. He highlighted new technology as an important area for countries to act together, “Another example is cryptocurrency. Given the kind of technology it is associated with, the decisions taken by a single country will be insufficient to deal with its challenges.”

Modi said India enters 2022 “infused with self-confidence”. Its economic growth is projected to hit 8.5%. It has already administered 1.6 billion COVID-19 vaccines. And, he added: “Our multilingual, multicultural environment is a great strength [that] teaches us not just to think of ourselves in times of crisis but to work in the best interests of the world.”

Continue Reading

Development

Xi Jinping Calls for Greater Global Cooperation to Tackle Common Challenges

Published

on

President Xi Jinping of China called for stronger international cooperation in overcoming shared global challenges including defeating COVID-19, revitalizing the economy and addressing climate change, in the opening session of the World Economic Forum’s virtual event, the Davos Agenda 2022.

Xi outlined that the international community is still locked in a tenacious battle against what he called “a once-in-a-century pandemic”. Calling for greater global cooperation, he said: “The fight against the pandemic is proving to be a protracted one. COVID-19 is resurging with different variants and spreading faster than before. He added that shifting blame will only cause delays in response.”

Speaking in a special address to business, government and civil society leaders taking part in the week-long virtual event, he laid out a three-pronged approach to safeguard people’s health. First, countries need to strengthen active cooperation on research and development of medicines. Second, leaders need to build multiple lines of defence against the coronavirus. Third, countries need to fully leverage vaccines by ensuring equitable distribution, boosting vaccination rates and closing the global immunization gap.

Xi said that China is doing its part, having already sent more than 2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations, to be closely followed by at least another 1 billion doses.

As the world emerges from the depths of pandemic gloom, Xi cautioned that several risks threaten to derail economic recovery, including disruptions in global supply chains, tight energy supply and rising commodity prices. He said: “If major economies take a U-turn in their monetary policies, there would be serious negative spillovers which will challenge global economic and financial stability.”

To fully unleash the vitality of the world economy, he also called for less protectionism, especially on trade. Economic globalization is an unstoppable trend which will not veer off course, he said, despite counter-currents along the way: “We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not de-couple.”

Xi highlighted China’s reform path. He pointed out that China’s domestic growth in 2021 hovered around a healthy 8% annually, with the country achieving its dual target of high growth with low inflation. Nevertheless, he also said Chinese leaders are aware of the further work necessary to achieve prosperity that benefits all people. “We remain committed to reform and opening up,” he said. “A rising tide indeed lifts all boats.”

On climate change, the Chinese president said that China stands ready to help the international community realize the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development and to achieve carbon neutrality in the long term. He outlined that China would honour its word to achieve carbon peaking by 2030 followed by specific industry plans towards carbon neutrality. Xi pointed out that China has the world’s biggest carbon market and clean energy capability.

Xi also cautioned that “weaponizing economic, scientific and technological issues will gravely undercut international efforts to tackle common challenges”. He said: “Developed countries should take the lead in honouring their emission reductions, deliver on their commitment to financial and technological support and create conditions for developing countries to address climate change,” he added.

Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman, thanked China for taking an active part in collaborative global efforts to combat shared challenges. “The year 2022 will provide a unique opportunity for global leaders to work jointly towards a more inclusive, more sustainable and more prosperous world,” Schwab said. “We must unite despite the different views we hold; ultimately we belong to a single global humanity whose fate is increasingly interconnected.”

Continue Reading

Development

Competition to Find Solutions to Reduce Overfishing in Coastal Fisheries

Published

on

The World Bank Coastal Fisheries Initiative – Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) is launching a competition to seek collaborative solutions to reduce overfishing by supporting coordination among fishers and collaboration across seafood value chains. The competition seeks innovative solutions that promote the productive and sustainable use and management of coastal fish stocks in Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Peru. Both new and established coalitions of fishing and coastal communities, businesses, and/or nonprofit organizations are invited to apply.  

Overfishing is among the biggest challenges threatening the health of the world’s oceans, the livelihoods of millions living in coastal communities, and the business opportunities of seafood and related industries. Each year, global fisheries lose out on US$83 billion in economic benefits due to overfishing (World Bank “The Sunken Billions Revisited”), a sum that could instead be productively reinvested in people, communities, and economies. Limited coordination among fishers and seafood stakeholders has blocked the development of viable solutions to overfishing, resulting in the continued loss of natural resources and economic benefits.   

“The Coastal Fisheries Initiative – Challenge Fund is committed to improving coastal fisheries, which are important sources of food and livelihoods for local communities. This competition is a call to action to bring together all of the actors in the seafood industry to tackle this perennial problem of overfishing,” said Mimi Kobayashi, Senior Environmental Economist at the World Bank and team leader of the CFI-CF. “Although this issue remains challenging, we are confident that we will receive some innovative and game-changing solutions.” 

This competition aims to mobilize the collective power of fisheries and seafood stakeholders to design and implement solutions that systematically reduce overfishing in a self-sustained way by effectively engaging stakeholders. Solutions should address the restoration of already degraded fish stocks, while protecting people who are impacted when fishing is reduced.  

Eligible applicants will receive mentoring and coaching support to improve their approaches and then can re-apply to increase their chances of winning.  

One winner and one runner up will be selected in Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Peru and announced at a virtual Knowledge Sharing Event in Spring 2022. Winners and runners up will participate in a week-long series of virtual events designed to share knowledge and experience in advancing productive and sustainable coastal fisheries. They will also receive dissemination support from the World Bank and acceleration services to improve and implement their solutions from competition partners.  

The CFI-CF project is part of the Coastal Fisheries Initiative (CFI), a collaborative, global effort funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and led by FAO

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

NarendraModi NarendraModi
Development43 mins ago

Modi Urges All Countries to Embrace Sustainable Lifestyles

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India used his address to the Davos Agenda 2022 to call on all countries to...

Finance4 hours ago

China: $1.9 Trillion Boost and 88M Jobs by 2030 Possible with Nature-Positive Solutions

Nearly $9 trillion, two-thirds of China’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is at risk of disruption from nature loss. Making...

Health & Wellness6 hours ago

UN-backed COVAX mechanism delivers its 1 billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose

With a 1.1 million jab delivery in Rwanda this weekend, the World Health Organization’s multilateral initiative to provide equal access...

Development8 hours ago

Xi Jinping Calls for Greater Global Cooperation to Tackle Common Challenges

President Xi Jinping of China called for stronger international cooperation in overcoming shared global challenges including defeating COVID-19, revitalizing the...

Style9 hours ago

Start your days with a better morning routine

Your morning sets the tone for the day to come. By starting the day with intent you’ll find yourself in...

Europe11 hours ago

The French Dispatch: The Year 2022 and European Security

2021 has been rich in negative events for European security: the world has witnessed the collapse of the Open Skies...

Africa13 hours ago

Pragmatic Proposals to Optimize Russia’s Pledged Rehabilitation of Ethiopia

Russian Ambassador to Ethiopia Evgeny Terekhin pledged that his homeland will help rehabilitate his hosts after getting a clearer understanding...

Trending