The Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP Sri Lanka have announced the launch of the Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map (the Map), a market intelligence tool that aims to direct private capital to where development goals priorities Sustainable Development (SDGs) in Sri Lanka, government policy and market opportunity intersect, as the country seeks to rebuild its economy in a sustainable way, using the SDG framework as a guide. The map methodology was created by UNDP SDG Impact.

Like many other countries, the Sri Lankan economy has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with GDP growth contracting by 3.6% in 2020 with a significant slowdown in tourism revenue, which is a source dollar revenue key for the country. Sri Lanka is building pathways to recover from its dual sovereign debt crisis and a balance of payments crisis, making it difficult to import essential items such as medicine, fuel and food. Current public debt is 140% of GDP and Sri Lanka’s plan is to reduce it to less than 100% by 2032.

As Sri Lanka pursues an IMF program to stabilize its macroeconomy and restructure its external debt, private capital, foreign direct investment, blended finance options and public-private partnerships are all needed. The SDG Investor Map will be important in channeling these funds towards investments for social and environmental purposes – towards green development, women’s economic empowerment, social sector development (example: health).

The map will be a crucial tool in accelerating Sri Lanka’s path to recovery and building better. The card can be used by:

Investors wishing to explore Sri Lanka as an investment destination while providing benefits to local communities and the environment

Companies that want to adjust their business strategy towards inclusive models and are looking for market insights and investment logic to validate their approach

Government agencies seeking to remove entry level barriers for the private sector and create an enabling ecosystem for the development of SDG-enabling sectors

In Sri Lanka, the map is the result of close collaboration between UNDP and the Sri Lanka Sustainable Development Council, the nodal government institution responsible for coordination, facilitation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka. . Sri Lanka’s investment promotion agency, the Board of Investments (BOI) of Sri Lanka, also provided input and validation during the development of Map and is a key partner for the launch of Map. Through secondary research and over 50 consultations with public and private sector organizations, the map has identified 15 Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) that span investment themes and business models across 5 priority sectors of the SDGs: renewable energy, healthcare, infrastructure, food and beverages and consumer goods. Goods.

At the event, UNDP called on the private sector to adopt the SDG Impact Standards, independent and global management standards that guide companies and investors in their decisions to optimize interrelated economic, social and environmental impacts. . The future SDG Impact Standards Assurance Framework and the SDG Impact Seal recognize investors and companies most likely to contribute positively to sustainability, reducing the risk of impact-washing.

Speaking at the event, MWA Sarath Kumara, Assistant Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, said: “Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieving the SDGs is explicit in our continued pursuit of national policies and plans and programs of development aligned with the SDGs over the years. Innovative financing mechanisms become imperative to synergize government, the private sector and capital markets to generate the additional resources needed to finance the SDGs. The SDG Investor Map is therefore a timely intervention that would provide potential investors with the required market information regarding areas of potential investment opportunities.

Highlighting how the map will inform Sri Lanka’s efforts to rebuild its economy in a sustainable way, H.E. immediate impacts of Sri Lanka”. the economic crisis in Lanka and ensure the long-term sustainable development of the country. The Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map offers private sector entities a compelling pathway to increase the alignment of their investments with the SDGs. It complements the recently launched United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027 by translating relevant country-level SDG gaps and priorities into private sector investment opportunities that will have lasting impacts on lives and lives. livelihoods across the country.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Chamindry Saparamadu, Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Development Council, said, “Partnerships underpin the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Each stakeholder has particular strengths to implement in order to achieve the SDGs. The partnership and collaboration between the Sustainable Development Council and UNDP in creating the first-ever SDG Investor Map in Sri Lanka provides a classic example of how the strengths of each agency were harnessed to produce an innovative solution that could help fill the SDG financing gap in Sri Lanka. ‘.

Highlighting the role of UNDP, Ms. Malin Herwig, Head of UNDP Sri Lanka, said, “The SDG Investor Map has provided us with market intelligence of SDG-aligned investment opportunities for Sri Lanka so far. critical stage. UNDP, in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, through the map, calls on development partners, IFIs and private impact investors to come together to formulate financing solutions to help the country’s recovery and accelerating the SDGs.

Ms. Fabienne Michaux, Director of SDG Impact, concluded: “While much remains to be done, the private sector has a great opportunity to integrate sustainability and the SDGs into their investments and businesses to help Sri Lanka better progress. The Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map has done much of the groundwork in identifying the sectors that will have the most development impact and which are aligned with the government’s SDG targets. This, coupled with the adoption of the SDG Impact Standards that guide the private sector in managing its impact, will strengthen the country’s ability to build a more resilient future, leaving no one behind.”