Friends of the Earth (HK)-PolyU Partnership for ESG investment initiative 2019

Friends of the Earth (HK) Charity Limited (FoE) and PolyU’s CESEF Center have formed a partnership program to promote the understanding and application of ESG investment practices among asset owners and investment professionals, which we will benefit Hong Kong and the investment community. The ultimate goal is to advocate institutional investors to adopt ESG/SRI  principles such as the SFC’s Principles of Responsible Ownership or principles of higher standard. The program will first involve focus groups to gather knowledge and wisdom. Next, we will jointly produce a summary report from the findings of the focus groups to disseminate our findings to the stakeholders and the public.

Bhutan Sovereign Green Bond

Coordinated by The UN ESCAP, a team of four experts from the PolyU CESEF Center has participated in a National workshop on Capital Market Development in Bhutan during December 18-19, 2019. As a part of ESCAP’s technical assistance to Bhutan, this national workshop aimed to engage with the Ministry of Finance, various Government agencies, and key stakeholders to help facilitate the issuance of Bhutan’s first sovereign bonds. The major objectives of this workshop were to discuss and assess the progress made following the 2018 Workshop on Supporting Asia-Pacific LLDCs and Bhutan in Mobilizing Resources for the SDGs with a focus on the following:

  • The latest trends and issue in the development of domestic capital markets.
  • Key progress and challenges on Bhutan’s efforts towards the issuances of sovereign bonds.
  • Capacity building and engaging with the Ministry of Finance and various Government agencies, banks, institutional investors and key stakeholders to help facilitate an issuance of Bhutan’s first sovereign bonds.
  • Inclusive feedback from relevant Government officials, policymakers and private sector.

This meeting included presentations given by government officials, experts, practitioners of Bhutan related development cooperation, along with the representatives of relevant international and/or regional organizations. Government officials and policymakers from the following institutions will be targeted: (I) Ministry of Finance, Economy and Planning; (II) National Development Banks and financial institutions; (III) Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan Ministry of Foreign Affairs; (IV) Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan; and (V) Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The workshop was successful and feedbacks from both Bhutan Government and UN ESCAP indicate that they are pleased with the advice from the PolyU CESEF team. It is indicated that CESEF will be invited to participate more in the Sovereign Green Bond issuing process, which is being considered by the Bhutanese Government.