Side event at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development "Financing for Transformation: from agenda to action on sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific"

13 Jul 2015
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The side event "Financing for Transformation: from agenda to action on sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific" will be organized as a high-level panel discussion on 13 July 2015 from 13.15 to 14.45 hrs. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP will moderate the session. The panel will include finance ministers, governors and private sector representatives and the officials from ADB and UNDP. All participants at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development are invited to attend.

Background

The year 2015 is a milestone with the international community expected to adopt a transformative sustainable development agenda for a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future. This requires equally ambitious, credible and forward-looking strategies for resource mobilization. In this context, the Third International Conference on Financing for Development is providing an important opportunity to gather global momentum, scale up consolidated efforts and recalibrate the international financial architecture to lay down a solid foundation for sustainable development financing in the post-2015 era.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the member States of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are uniquely placed to implement a transformative development agenda beyond 2015 because of their vast financial resources. In 2013, the stock of financial assets of the region’s wealthy individuals amounted to $35 trillion, while the flow of private savings, fiscal revenues, foreign direct investment, remittances, and overseas development assistance (ODA) amounted to $6 trillion, $4 trillion, $492 billion, $218 billion, and $30 billion, respectively. These figures suggest that the greatest potential for mobilizing resources for sustainable development rests with the private sector and domestic public resources.

To leverage the available financial resources, policymakers in the region may consider adopting harmonized regulations and robust institutions for the development of their domestic capital markets in order to facilitate the trading of securities across countries, and lay the groundwork for the development of a regional capital market at a later stage. At the national level, it should be noted that the Asia-Pacific economies have the potential to raise tax-to-GDP ratios. For that purpose, they could adopt tax policies and innovative approaches to broaden tax bases, remove exemptions and loopholes, and improve administrative efficiency and collection. Importantly, the region can enhance its cooperation in tax matters by establishing an Asia-Pacific tax forum, which would deal firmly with base erosion and profit shifting, and to increase global transparency and information exchanges.

At the regional and global levels, because of the relatively unmet commitments in delivery of ODA, policymakers must strategically make use of their existing resources and raise additional resources by prioritizing the allocation to countries that need it the most, such as least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States and contributing to efforts aimed at: (i) building capacities in areas such as domestic public finance and the development of capital markets; and (ii) leveraging other sources of funding, for instance by helping countries in the preparation of bankable projects or contracts for public-private partnerships (PPPs), including for quality infrastructure investments. Furthermore, the capital enhancement of multilateral development banks and newly established infrastructure financing institutions, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), are significant steps for financing national and transboundary connectivity in the region. Equally important is to make a meaningful global climate deal in 2015, which must entail ensuring that developing countries have access to public and private capital to help them decarbonize their economies and build resilience in their communities.

Objectives

The objective of the side event on “Financing for Transformation: from agenda to action on sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific” is to provide a focused discussion on innovative financing sources, modalities and priorities in the Asia and the Pacific region for the implementation of the development agenda beyond 2015. The side event will also consider and elaborate on the policy recommendations contained in the Chair’s Summary mentioned above.

Conference Documents

Concept Note
[English only]
Tentative Programme
[English only]
List of Participants
will be available soon
Chair's Summary of the Asia-Pacific High-Level Consultation on Financing for Development
[English only]
Financing for Transformation: From Agenda to Action on Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific
[English only]

Draft Discussion Papers

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