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SBFN and IFC Collaborate at the 2nd Philippine Climate Forum to Propel MSMEs Toward Net-Zero Transition

Manila, Philippines – June 13, 2024

On World Environment Day, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the Philippines kicked off its 2nd Climate Forum, a pivotal event dedicated to fostering discussions and actions towards the net-zero transition for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Held from June 5 to June 7, 2024, the forum convened key stakeholders including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), an SBFN member since 2013, Securities and Exchange Commission Philippines, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and significant private sector partners such as The Alliance for Green Commercial Banks, Bank of the Philippine Islands, RCBC, GCash, and Maya.

This year’s forum emphasized the promotion of green lending and climate investment opportunities, and sought to increase awareness of sustainability initiatives across both private and public sectors. The event attracted over 100 in-person attendees from the financial sector, multilateral agencies and government bodies.

A highlight of the forum was the afternoon session titled “Inclusive Sustainability – Greening the MSME Sector.” The session opened with remarks from Ms. Pia Roman Tayag, Assistant Governor and Chief of Staff of BSP and Co-chair of the newly launched SBFN Inclusive Finance Task Force. This initiative supports members in developing inclusive finance policy frameworks to benefit MSMEs and vulnerable groups.

Following Ms. Tayag remarks, Rong Zhang, SBFN Global Coordinator, delivered a presentation detailing how SBFN members are effectively incorporating financial inclusion strategies into their operations. Zhang highlighted findings from the SBFN 2024 Global Progress Brief as well as insights from the SBFN Inclusive Sustainable Finance (ISF) Task Force research. This included regulator-led case studies from Argentina, Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan and Sri Lanka on greening MSMEs through sustainable finance policy, as well as industry-led case studies from China, Kenya, and Mongolia. Zhang’s participation was complemented by Qamar Saleem’s presentation from the IFC-facilitated SME Finance Forum. Mr. Saleem’s remarks focused on sharing strategies, insights and experience from the private sector to promote green and inclusive growth in the MSME sector on a global level.

The 2nd Philippine Climate Forum marks a significant step forward in mobilizing the necessary resources and collaboration to support MSMEs in their crucial role in combating climate change, emphasizing the collective effort required to achieve a sustainable and inclusive future.