© UNCTAD | UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan (left) and world leaders on 16 October at the World Investment Forum’s Global Leaders Investment Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arabe Emirates.

World Investment Forum 2023: Global leaders urge action for sustainable development

The UN Secretary-General calls for the public and private sectors to deliver $500 billion a year in affordable, long-term financing to developing countries.

The summit revealed a staggering $6 trillion valuation for the sustainable finance market.

However, Secretary-General Grynspan pointed out: “Not enough funds are going into new renewable energy plants, water and sanitation installations, agricultural projects, hospitals. And only 5% of all sustainable funds are located in developing countries. Funding exists, but allocation has been misguided.”

Leaders, including German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, discussed ways to close the SDG investment gap, mobilize sustainable finance in global capital markets, ensure sustainability standards in sustainable finance and channel more funds to where they’re needed most.

The discussion emphasized the key need for international coordination given the scale of the investment needs and blended finance involving both public and private sectors including new actors such as sovereign wealth funds.

The forum spotlighted critical sectors, such as the just energy transition and perspectives from countries like Indonesia, South Africa and Viet Nam.

Urgent need to invest in agrifood sector

On World Food Day, amid global supply chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, UNCTAD and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlighted the critical role agrifood systems play in tackling global malnutrition, poverty, the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and climate change.

FAO Director-General Dongyu Qu said transforming agrifood systems will cost $680 billion annually between now and 2030 in low and middle-income countries.

There’s therefore a critical need to attract efficient public and private sector investment in agrifood systems to reduce food insecurity and foster rural employment, particularly for women and young people.

Channelling greater investment in sustainable finance in global capital markets to food production where it’s needed most will require addressing the challenges of risk, institutional capacity, investment promotion and ease of doing business.

UN Investment Promotion Awards 2023 celebrate success in climate action

Ten investment promotion agencies and special economic zones received the Investment Promotion Awards 2023, with winners from Brazil, China, Egypt, France, India, Namibia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Türkiye, and the United Arab Emirates.

This year’s awards spotlight the work of investment promotion agencies in attracting investment to accelerate the transition to clean, sustainable energy aimed at curbing climate change, while recognizing innovative approaches to investment promotion, finance and partnerships.

While international investment in renewable energy has nearly tripled since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, much of the growth has been concentrated in developed countries.