UNDP and BSEC Join Hands to Develop SDG Thematic Bonds

Driving Sustainable Finance: UNDP and BSEC Partner to Develop SDG Thematic Bonds in Bangladesh

July 4, 2023

UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative, Stefan Liller, and BSEC Chairman Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam exchange a firm handshake, symbolizing the collaborative commitment to advancing sustainable finance through the development of SDG thematic bonds in Bangladesh

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to strengthen cooperation in the development of the ecosystem for the issuance of thematic bonds to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Bangladesh. The signing ceremony took place at the BSEC office, where BSEC Chairman Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam and UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative, Stefan Liller, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.

Under this MoU, UNDP Bangladesh will help design an impact measurement and reporting framework based on UNDP’s SDG Impact Standards; and support in developing the bond allocation and impact reporting. UNDP is well positioned to provide technical assistance accompanied by long-term capacity-building support to build a strong ecosystem to manage SDG thematic bonds from pre-issuance to post-issuance and assist in stakeholder engagement to popularise thematic bonds among issuers and investors.

Speaking about the partnership, Stefan Liller, UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative, emphasised the significance of the thematic bond framework and the technical support provided. He stated, "The thematic bond framework and relevant technical support will help create an enabling environment to mobilise capital for SDGs achievement in Bangladesh. UNDP is committed to collaborating with regulators and providing catalytic support to an ecosystem for SDG financing in Bangladesh, while expanding opportunities for the private sector in advancing their sustainability initiatives. We are very pleased to take this collaboration with BSEC forward with the overall goal of supporting Bangladesh in mobilising new finance to advance Agenda 2030 and Bangladesh’s climate change-related aspirations and commitments."

BSEC Chairman Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership and stated, “This initiative is in line with various initiatives that Government of Bangladesh has already taken. BSEC has been successfully pursuing the establishment of a vibrant bond market. We have also included a separate section for green bonds in our Guideline for fixed income securities. I believe, popularizing the sophisticated green financial products such as thematic bonds or sukuks will ultimately strengthen the overall bond market along with efficient capital mobilization for SDG goal attainment.” Mr. Islam elaborated on the importance of greening the economy and emphasized on starting it as soon as possible. He underscored the necessity of pushing the thematic products initially before the market grabs it spontaneously. He assured the commission’s readiness and willingness to support in designing the framework and its initial piloting.

The collaboration between the UNDP and the BSEC aims to accelerate sustainable development in Bangladesh by leveraging the potential of SDG and Thematic Bonds. This partnership underscores the importance of international organisations and national regulatory bodies working together to promote sustainable finance and achieve the global development agenda.

Senior officials from the government and UNDP were also present during the signing ceremony.