Leveraging Private Investments for Pakistan’s Sustainable Development: Pakistan SDG Investment Report 2021

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Leveraging Private Investments for Pakistan’s Sustainable Development: Pakistan SDG Investment Report 2021

January 25, 2022

UNDP Pakistan, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, launched ‘Leveraging Private Investments for Pakistan’s Sustainable Development: Pakistan SDG Investment Report 2021’, authored by UNDP Senior Advisor, Financing for Development, and former State Minister for Investment, Mr. Haroon Sharif.

A first of its kind for Pakistan, the Report highlights the need of both the public and private sectors in playing a fundamental role to spur SDG-aligned investments and generate the desired level of economic growth, capture the benefits of sustainable development, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and fulfill the foundational promise of Agenda 2030: to Leave No One Behind.

Pakistan integrated UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in its development agenda in 2016. However, adequate fiscal and implementation space could not be created due to macro-economic imbalances and lack of institutional capacity. The Pakistan SDG Investment Report 2021 is a joint effort of the Government of Pakistan and UNDP to showcase Pakistan’s business portfolio and potential for leveraging national, regional and international private sector investments aligned with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Report provides an overview of Pakistan’s policy priorities, supporting the regulatory environment, and the state of private sector development with a view to creating strategic partnerships with international investors looking for impact investments, particularly in the areas of Climate Change and Climate Financing, SMEs and Industrial Development, ICTs, Healthcare and Education, and Transportation and Logistics. The Report will form the basis for exploring exciting new avenues to expand the pool of public and private sector financing for targeted sustainable development projects in Pakistan.

The UN estimates that there is a US$ 2.5 trillion annual gap in the US$ 5-7 trillion in investment required to achieve the SDGs. Adequate financing for development has become one of the most critical development challenges of our times, especially during this pandemic era faced with multiple geo-political shifts.

The Government of Pakistan has identified US$ 13 billion SDG aligned investment opportunities. This report includes Pakistan’s investment portfolio worth US$ 2 billion in the sectors of clean energy, transport and logistics, information technology, and healthcare. With this portfolio, Pakistan was strategically positioned for SDG aligned investments and engagement on global and regional platforms like the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance at the Global SDG Investment Fairs held virtually in New York in April and September 2021.

The Report also gives an overview of the investment climate, and government reforms for private sector development. It explores how Pakistan’s private sector and financial market has the ability to absorb foreign direct investment, and given this new direction for sustainable investment, the country can attract FDI in the suggested sectors.  

The Pakistan SDG Investment Report 2021 forms the basis of the extensive work UNDP is doing under its flagship SDG Impact Initiative through its dynamic impact intelligence tool, the SDG Investor Map, to empower investors with clarity, insights, and tools to achieve the SDGs. The tool will identify a range of market-specific investment opportunities for SDG-aligned capital deployment backed up by country-specific data and evidence, translating SDG needs and policy priorities into actionable investment opportunity areas (IOAs) to ensure the country Leaves No One Behind. 

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