Irina Makieva: it is Important to Combine the Efforts of Different Countries to Create the Best Urban Development Practices International Database
Different countries shall collaborate to improve the quality of life of citizens and to create an international library of best urban development practices, which will allow adopting best approaches in the transformation of territories. This was reported by VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairperson and MONOTOWNS.RF Director General Irina Makieva at the session Investment in Urban Development. Regional Economy during the Traditional BRICS Urbanization Forum.
“Improving the quality of life in cities and towns is an important agenda for most countries. Comfortable environment, clean water, modern transport – this is what people's desire to stay in their native territories depends on. Every country makes every effort to increase the level of comfort in cities year after year. It is very important to combine and replicate unique experiences. Creating an international library of best practices in urban development would be a great help,” Irina Makieva said.
During the session, Irina Makieva presented ongoing projects of VEB.RF and the Monotowns Development Fund, as well as support instruments, including non-financial, which the development institutions are ready to provide to cities and towns.
The Traditional BRICS Urbanization Forum was held online as part of the Russian Federation's BRICS presidency in 2020. The forum was dedicated to discussing a wide range of urban development issues and brought together reputable Russian and international experts, representatives of national and regional authorities, development institutions and specialised organisations.
VEB.RF and IDFC Online Conference Discusses the Role of Development Banks in Economic Recovery
During this crisis, global development banks have become a real support for national economies and businesses, allocating public funds and mobilising private capital to support society in these difficult times. On 9 September 2020, their representatives and members of international organisations gathered for an online conference From Pandemic to Recovery: The Role of Development Banks to discuss the experience gained over six months of working in the new environment. The conference was organised by VEB.RF in partnership with the International Development Finance Club (IDFC). The event was organised in the runner up to the upcoming first global summit of development banks Finance in Common, which will be held in Paris in November this year.
Banks and associations participating in the conference represented financial institutions with total assets of over eight trillion USD.
VEB.RF’s Chairman Igor Shuvalov outlined the main focus areas of the conference: sustainable infrastructure and support for small and medium-sized businesses. Chief Executive Officer of the French Development Agency and IDFC’s Chairman Remy Rioux noted that 450 development banks around the world are a powerful force to tackle the current crisis. They are ideal for building bridges between different economies, making a common contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and planning a collective response to the pandemic.
The importance of this topic was highlighted by the high level of participation. In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that in the post-pandemic recovery period, there is an increasing need for infrastructure and social projects, as well as for financial services and liquidity for small and medium-sized enterprises that are in dire need. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said that the decline in global GDP in 2020 (estimated at about 6%) will be the largest in the history of his organisation. 38% of small and medium-sized enterprises within the OECD would have completely lost liquidity during the pandemic if it was not for government support, and most of this support went through national development banks.
Many national and regional development banks shared their experience in anti-crisis support measures. President of the Islamic Development Bank Group and Chair of the Heads of MDBs for 2020 Dr. Bandar Hajar said that his institution had provided USD10 billion in support, since 80% of the most important industries in the bank's region of activities were affected by the pandemic. Igor Shuvalov noted that during the pandemic VEB.RF had stepped up a programme to support 100 of Russia's largest cities (excluding Moscow and Saint Petersburg) to help develop their economies by modernising infrastructure, transport systems, and the urban landscape.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed noted that the situation could have been even worse if it was not for the programmes provided by national governments and, in most cases, distributed through state development institutions. Development banks helped businesses adapt to new conditions, provided liquidity, credit guarantees and subsidies, information and other forms of support. Another important role for them is to be at the forefront of the search for new economic models and to create new platforms for growth. She pointed out the need to mobilise private capital to support public programmes, which is best done through the mechanisms of state development institutions.
Other speakers strongly supported the latter point. No government can lead the country out of the crisis by relying solely on support from the state budget, said Stephen Groff, Governor of the National Development Fund of Saudi Arabia. The task of all governments is to invent mechanisms that can help mobilise private capital for economic recovery. It is most convenient to do this through development banks, and therefore the pandemic has become a moment of prosperity for them. Other participants shared their experience of working with private companies and institutions and outlined their vision of the role of state development banks in the fight against the crisis.
The conference was attended by Marie Lam-Frendo, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Infrastructure Hub (G20); Marcos Prado Troyjo, President of the New Development Bank (NDB); Patrick Dlamini, Chief Executive Officer of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA); Octavio Peralta, ADFIAP Secretary General; Edwin Syahruzad, President of Sarana Multi Infrastruktur; Mario Ohoven, President of CEA-PME (Confédération Européenne des Associations de Petites et Moyennes Entreprises); Edgardo Alvarez Chavez, Secretary General Latin American Association of Development Financing Institutions (ALIDE); Jose Ignacio de Mendiguren, President of the Argentinian Development Bank of Investment and Foreign Trade; Ayman Amin Sejiny, CEO at Islamic Development Bank Group; Javier Diaz Fajardo, Chief Executive Officer of Bancoldex; Ece Börü, Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey.