Efforts to boost the investment ecosystem in Pakistan and introduce Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-aligned financing, the United Nations Development Program in Pakistan (UNDP) is to support the Board of Investment (BOI) in exploring the establishment of Pakistan’s first Impact Investment Fund.
The fund is to be a part of the Government’s Vision 2025 Roadmap and is an essential step in helping Pakistan achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this partnership, the government 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.
With UNDP’s experience in facilitating impact with regards to finance development in the region, BOI is interested in collaborating with UNDP Pakistan to explore the potential and has also requested that UNDP support the Government of Pakistan in providing technical support in developing the impact modality of a potential fund.
Naeem Zamindar, Chairman of the Board of Investment speaking on the occasion said,
“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.”
Furthermore, Ignacio Artaza the Country Director for UNDP in Pakistan added,
“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.”
One of the mandates of BOI is to coordinate the development and population of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to Sustainable (SEZs) that includes the SEZs aligned with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Therefore, the BOI and UNDP are to 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.