Indo-British cooperation for sustainability and economic growth

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As sustainability moves from buzzword to guiding principle across countries and businesses, capital requirements have also increased. During a virtual roundtable, the UK Government’s Department for International Trade brought together experts and thought leaders from India and the UK to establish a constructive dialogue on the role of sustainable infrastructure development in Economic Growth.

Climate change and sustainability will be the biggest challenges facing the international community over the next decade, said Alderman Vincent Keaveny, Lord Mayor of the City of London. “Capital markets are key to lowering the costs of key technologies and enabling businesses to transition at scale. Public funding is essential, but we know from estimates by the International Energy Authority and others that this will not be enough, which is why we need to mobilize private capital,” he said. said during the discussion.

“The unique relationship between the UK and India can support India in its decarbonisation. The UK is a one-stop shop for supporting the transition to a low carbon economy, finding technology solutions, restructuring business divisions and raising capital. We need to connect British innovation with Indian dynamism and industry,” he added.

“There are over $100 trillion globally aligned with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), over $40 trillion now aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and more than $1 trillion of green bonds, social bonds and sustainability bonds that have been issued to the market,” said Shrey Kohli, Director, Head of Debt Capital Markets, London Stock Exchange.

According to Arun Saigal, Managing Director and Head of Global Finance, Barclays Bank PLC, India, sustainability has become an existential issue as investors, financial capital providers and businesses are fully aware of the need for transition.

“I know the needle has moved. But it’s not going to be a move to newer technology that we’re moving towards very, very quickly. It will be a slow and gradual change and we have to take people with us,” said Tarun Sharma, Chief Financial Officer of India Exim Bank.

The dialogue emerging today is whether sustainability is the new digital. As industries and countries as a whole move towards net zero goals, there are also concerns about greenwashing, or making a product or service appear environmentally friendly without actually being. Actually.

“If we’re going to meet the targets as a country, it requires everyone in the ecosystem to be in sync, including the capital investment side, the regulatory side, which I think is going to propel us much faster than what digital has done because here we have more momentum,” said Niloufer Lam, partner at ZBA, a law firm.

“There are around $25-$30 trillion in ESG funds. The number of investment opportunities available in India is huge, and we will definitely see that money flowing into India,” said Rajiv Anand, deputy managing director. of Axis Bank.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Philip Sydenham, First Secretary, Trade (Financial, Professional, Creative, Sports Services) at the Deputy British High Commission in Mumbai, said: “We are truly committed to working together for a sustainable, clean and sustainable future. resilient and ensure that the actors of sustainable finance will be at the heart of this approach. We are really looking forward to opening direct overseas listings as a major opportunity for new businesses to raise capital directly from international investors, especially in green spaces. »

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