IsDB Chief Urges Collaboration to Scale Up Sustainable Finance at Asian Forum

Hong Kong, China, 24 January 2024 – On the final leg of his visit to the Far East to forge stronger partnerships with the top global financial institutions, Islamic Development Bank President, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, arrived in Hong Kong upon an official invitation to take part in the Asian Financial Forum 2024 held on 24-25 January under the overarching theme of “Multilateralism Cooperation for a Shared Tomorrow.”

Dr. Al Jasser was a keynote speaker at the Forum’s plenary session on “Multilateralism for A Sustainable Future” where he reiterated the immense challenges facing IsDB member countries and the need for financing & expertise.

Underlining the critical role of multilateral development banks (MDBs) in revamping climate finance, Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser told the audience that multilateralism is key to mobilizing sufficient volumes of finance for sustainable development. He then added that effective multilateralism requires partnerships that leverage strengths and maximize positive impacts.

The IsDB President, furthermore, underlined finance as a powerful catalyst for environmental and social change and that the financial sector can significantly accelerate the transition to low carbon and sustainable economies, he also highlighted MDB's role in aiming for a fair and just transition.

He explained how IsDB and Arab Coordination Group have pledged US$24 billion for climate crisis solutions by 2030 with IsDB committing US$ 13 billion.

Elaborating on the global financial gaps to finance the sustainable development goals, he enumerated some select examples of IsDB financing modalities that support SDGs. “To date, we have issued more than US$ 5 billion worth of Green Sukuk and Sustainability Sukuk the proceeds of which have been utilized in sustainable development, climate action, and social development projects,” he noted.

Dr. Al Jasser then referred to IsDB’s US$ 334.5 million financing for the 1st phase of Egypt’s high-speed railway, and the US$ 200 million Emergency Food Security Response Project that stores critical grains in Jordan as some instances of projects where IsDB’s Sukuk proceeds have been utilized.

The IsDB President reiterated that 33 percent of the Bank’s climate financing in 2022 was classified as either mitigation or adaptation finance while the year 2023 is expected to register an increase in volume and percentage of total approvals exceeding 35% upon full validation of all estimates.

He then called upon all stakeholders to usher in a change in the development finance approach to meet the estimated US$7 trillion required for achieving the SDGs target and underlined the importance of the development of multiple financing instruments including IsDB green & sustainability Sukuk to bridge the funding gap.

IsDB Group, to date, has committed over US$ 180 billion in different development sectors, including energy, education, agriculture, infrastructure, water and sanitation, etc. all in a constant drive towards a green and just transition in its 57 member countries and beyond.

While commenting on MDBs’ potentials, Dr. Al Jasser highlighted that MDBs are working to increase the mobilization of private capital, while banking on their regional convening power and capacity to promote best practices from global experience. 

The Asian Financial Forum runs from 24 to 25 January 2024. The plenary session Multilateralism for A Sustainable Future, was chaired by Mr. Christopher Hui Ching-Yu, GBS, JP, Secretary for Financial Services and Treasury of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The panel speakers were H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, President, Islamic Development Bank; H.E. Prof Hala El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, The Arab Republic of Egypt; Ms. Dilma Rousseff, President, New Development Bank; and Dr. Alexandra Jour-Schroeder, Deputy Director-General, Directorate General‑ for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, European Commission.