In efforts to augment the impact investment ecosystem in Pakistan and introduce Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-aligned financing, United Nations Development Programme in Pakistan (UNDP) will support Board of Investment (B0I) in exploring the establishment of Pakistan’s first Impact Investment Fund. The fund will be aligned with the Government’s Vision 2025 Roadmap and is an essential step in helping Pakistan achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The partnership hopes to leverage the private sector and capital markets to support SDG-aligned financing and investment models focusing on venture capital – capital that is prepared to take on additional risk to ‘kick-start’ underserved sectors and districts within Pakistan.
Given UNDP’s regional experience in facilitating impact and blended financing funds, BOI is particularly interested in collaborating with UNDP Pakistan to explore this potential and has requested that UNDP support the Government of Pakistan in providing technical support in developing the impact modality of a potential fund.
“Impact investing is the way of the future to finance socially desirable projects and also produce an attractive return,” – Naeem Zamindar, Chairman of the Board of Investment.
“Financing through funds is the right course to adopt to sustainably finance development in Pakistan, as it will promote the funding of sustainable business models, rather than counting on the changing levels of donor funding, or one-off project-based charity. Establishing such an Impact Fund will also help Pakistan achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, and jumpstart venture capital urgently needed to strengthen the startup ecosystem of Pakistan. Given UNDP’s expertise in the area, we are happy to get their guidance to build our first impact fund, hopefully, the first of a string of funds.”
SDGs financing aims to leverage impact investments in Pakistan, facilitating blended financing, supporting the growth of impact-oriented start-ups and strengthening ecosystem stakeholders.
“UNDP has been active in the area of empowerment through innovation and entrepreneurship and is now ready to facilitate SDGs-aligned financing. We are hoping to further strengthen our partnerships with the government and the private sector to achieve this goal. We want to see the whole ecosystem prosper in Pakistan and we are excited to support the Board of Investment with this initiative,” said Ignacio Artaza, Country Director of UNDP Pakistan.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require a transition from Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to Sustainable (SEZs) that are greener, cleaner, more efficient, and offer much-needed services to local communities in and around the zones. Many of the SDGs’ targets embedded in the SEZs include renewable energy, waste management, decent employment, and affordable housing.
BOI is mandated to coordinate the development and population of SEZs, including the SEZs aligned with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Therefore, the BOI and UNDP will explore how SDG financing support for Sustainable SEZs can play an important role in helping boost and sustain Pakistan’s economic development, because they serve as economic hubs for foreign direct investment, technology transfer, value-added production and trade.
BOI looks forward to collaborating with UNDP in spearheading the Government of Pakistan’s first impact investment fund targeted to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and ultimately serving all people of Pakistan so that no one is left behind.