Fair Finance Asia 2020 General Assembly Session on 9 September 2020
The Thai Government has acknowledged that addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks including climate change, environmental degradation, and income inequality, are critical to the sustainability of the Thai economy. The financial sector has a crucial role to play in mitigating these risks, by managing the impacts associated with their lending activities, incentivizing clients to adopt ESG practices, and building resilient portfolios.
To encourage the development of the sustainable finance ecosystem in Thailand, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has supported the launch of the ‘Sustainable Banking Guidelines – Responsible Lending’. BOT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in November 2019, to develop a Sustainable Finance Policy Framework, with a roadmap and tools to help the sector improve ESG risk management practices.
These developments in the sustainable finance landscape in Thailand go hand in hand with the initiatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) and coalitions including Fair Finance Thailand, that are leading the advocacy, influencing, and capacity building facilitation on ESG accountability for financial actors. Fair Finance Thailand conducts research on the sustainable finance landscape in Thailand, publishes policy assessments on Thai commercial banks, and advocate for a shift to sustainable banking.
This webinar aimed to foster a better understanding of BOT’s perspective on the role of regulators in the implementation of sustainable finance in Thailand, and how to deepen stakeholder engagement on key issues particularly with CSOs. Together, the speakers engaged in a dialogue on potential collaboration and practical support that both actors can provide each other to accelerate the development and delivery of sustainable finance policies and initiatives in Thailand and Asia overall.
The Objectives of the Webinar were to:
- Foster a better understanding on the sustainable finance landscape in Thailand to date, and how recent national developments can potentially impact its cross-border investment policies within ASEAN and Asia overall;
- Highlight the role that CSOs can play to support the work of financial sector regulators in implementing national sustainable finance policies and initiatives;
- Discuss potential areas for collaboration and support between financial regulators and CSOs working on sustainable finance and cross-border investments in Asia.