• Dr. Omran: FRA will issue the First Sustainability Report by the end of May 2019 and launches a series of intensive meetings on sustainability principles and its application tools in Egypt
• Dr. Mark Hall: By 2020, the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) will introduce a global platform for a financial system based on sustainability
• Dr. Omran: The absence of a sustainable financial center in Cairo deprives us of future green investment flows to Africa by 2020
• Dr. Omran: The new administrative capital is eligible to embrace a sustainable financial center that attracts environmental sustainability projects
Dr. Mohammed Omran – FRA’s Chairman stresses that transition to a green economy and sustainable development is not an option. It is necessary to meet the principles of sustainability in order to increase the flow of foreign investments in the Egyptian economy. In this respect, Egyptian financial institutions shall integrate the principles of sustainability in the operating systems, investment and management and transform it to a culture and daily practice and a decision-making tool within these institutions.
FRA’s Chairman pointed out that one of the most important strategic objectives stated in FRA’s comprehensive strategy for the development of non-banking financial activities 2018-2022 is to achieve sustainable development, which is one of the most important axes that the Authority’s management is working on in the coming period. FRA has established a specialized Sustainability Unit. Also, FRA joined the United Nations initiative as a supporting body and is on its way to join the SIF Forum which includes 23 countries, to be the second Arab country in this forum.
Dr. Omran explained that the Authority has a clear strategy and has a specific plan of action to be implemented during the coming period through several axes, including awareness of the importance of the principles of sustainable development and how to integrate them into the operating systems of financial institutions. Besides, promoting transition to a green finance and adopting policies to protect the environment and conserve natural resources for a better world. He pointed out that March will witness the organization of the first meeting dedicated to explaining the principles of sustainability in the insurance industry to raise the awareness of this sector and keep abreast of the global developments in this regard. He added that in April FRA will participate in organizing the first meeting of the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI Initiative) and all the Egyptian parties engaged in insurance industry to determine the sustainability agenda of this vital sector and the steps necessary to activate and achieve sustainability objectives.
This was comes within the context of a seminar hosted by FRA at its headquarters in the Smart Village yesterday. During this seminar the financial expert Dr. Mark Hall, Senior Advisor to the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) introduced an initiative to create a financial system that embraces sustainable development in its operations and ensures the flow of resources towards environmentally friendly activities.
Dr. Mark Hall emphasized that by 2020, the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) will establish a platform of investment that represents the base of a financial system that depend on sustainability in its operations and trusted by policy makers and decision makers in the world.
The seminar included an introduction on the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S), which represents a partnership between the International Financial Centers and the United Nations Environment Program, and was launched at a meeting in Casablanca, Morocco, headed by Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA) and the Italian Ministry of Environment in September 2017. The International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) includes twenty international financial centers in less than 18 months.
Dr. Mark discussed with the participants the proposals and priorities that could be used by all stakeholders in the non-banking financial sector to develop a road map for the establishment of a regional financial center in Cairo after the announcement of two financial centers in Africa. This will ultimately ensure the consistency of financial and investment policies among capitals, financial centers, governments, central banks, regulatory bodies and participants from the private financial sector to take serious and progressive steps towards activating green and sustainable finance.
Dr. Omran said that the Authority seeks to settle principles of sustainability within the non-banking financial sector in a gradual manner, and to raise awareness among companies operating in the sector of the importance of sustainability and its positive impact on economic growth and environmental conservation. He added that the Authority’s efforts to raise awareness of sustainable development and implement an educational series on sustainable development, comes within the frame of FRA’s interest in launching a regional financial center for sustainability, which is hosted by the non-banking financial sector in Egypt and serves Africa. A regional financial center that will be the green investment gateway in Africa. He noted that Global investments for sustainable development last year amounted to nearly 70 trillion US dollars, after doubling those investments to fourteen times during the period 2013-2017.
FRA’s Chairman added that Egypt has taken sustainability seriously and applied it on the ground and made the new administrative capital the beginning of a new generation of – green smart cities – in Egypt, which is consistent with the United Nations initiatives on sustainable cities.
He also stressed on the vital role played by the non-banking financial sector in mobilizing savings, optimizing the use of available resources to achieve sustainable development objectives. He added that this role was supported by the provisions of the Executive Regulations of the Capital Market Law – issued in November 2018 – which introduced a new green tool namely “green bonds” to provide finance for environmentally friendly projects. In addition to encouraging the expansion of the green economy and attracting foreign investments wishing to establish green projects to settle in the Egyptian economy in promising areas within the administrative capital and the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone). Green projects include particularly Renewable Energy Projects, climate change adaptation projects, pollution prevention project, green building projects, electric vehicles projects and Energy Efficiency Projects.
The Authority is waiting in the near future for the first issuance of green bonds in Egypt by a number of strong financial institutions, contributing to the non-banking financial sector and achieving Egypt’s Vision 2030. The issuance of green bonds represents the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by the United Nations.
This event is the first of a series of educational meetings organized by FRA to raise awareness of sustainable development and promote the green culture within the non-banking financial sector, so that by 2020 we will be able to attract the investments that will be allocated by the major international financial institutions to environmental sustainability projects and activities.