Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 01, 2017—H.E.
President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, urged the financial sector
and other stakeholders to work towards sustainable development in the country
today. The President’s remarks were made at the first Sri Lanka Sustainable
Finance Workshop, hosted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, and the IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network
The workshop brought together over 160 senior representatives from government,
the financial sector, and international organizations to share information,
propose ideas, and build a consensus on Sri Lanka’s sustainable finance
“I firmly believe that we need a responsible and inclusive financial system
to reach our sustainable development goals in Sri Lanka. The banking sector
is an important partner for tackling crucial development challenges, including
climate change, poverty, and equity,” said President Sirisena, who also
heads the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
The workshop provides an opportunity for participants to learn from the
sustainable finance experiences of regulators from across the globe. The
Central Bank of Sri Lanka, with support from the government and commitment
from the local banking sector, aims to develop a sustainable finance roadmap
to guide the local banking and finance industry.
“We want to help banks effectively manage environmental and social risks
associated with the projects they finance and increase support to businesses
that are greener, climate friendly, and socially inclusive,” said Dr.
Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka
is unique, with 18 banks already adopting 11 voluntary principles to operationalize
the sustainable finance commitment, under the leadership of the Sri Lanka
The Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) includes 31 countries representing
85 percent of banking assets from emerging markets. As a new member of
the SBN, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will benefit from experience and
knowledge-exchange with other members.
“Governments and businesses around the world are taking important steps
towards a fundamental transformation of the global economy to build a more
sustainable future,” said Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka
and Maldives. “In order to succeed, the financial sector must be a core
part of this transformation. IFC is looking forward to supporting this
transformation in Sri Lanka.”
To date, 15 SBN member countries have launched sustainable finance polices,
guidelines, and roadmaps, which are leveling the playing field for banks
to strengthen environmental and social-risk management and innovate green
investment. IFC has also backed regulators in these efforts by providing
its technical expertise and Performance Standards which are the basis of
the Equator Principles adopted by over 80 financial institutions worldwide.
About Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), is the apex financial institution in
Sri Lanka. CBSL was established in 1950 under the Monetary Law Act No.58
of 1949 (MLA) and following the amendments to the MLA in December 2002,
is responsible for securing its core objectives of economic and price stability
and financial system stability. In addition, the CBSL is the advisor on
economic affairs as well as the banker to the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL).
On behalf of GOSL, the CBSL, as its agent, is responsible for four agency
functions of: management of the Employees Provident Fund; management of
the public debt of Sri Lanka; administration of the provisions of the Exchange
Control Act; and administration of foreign and government funded credit
schemes for regional development. For more information, visit www.cbsl.gov.lk.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network (SBN)
The Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) is a knowledge and capacity-building
platform of financial regulators, banking associations, and environmental
regulators from emerging markets interested in developing sustainable finance
frameworks based on national context and priorities, as well as international
good practices. IFC acts as the Secretariat of the Network, playing the
role of facilitator and Technical Adviser to SBN. SBN membership now consists
of 31 member countries, which represent over 85 percent of the banking
assets across emerging markets. CBSL joined SBN in 2016. For more information
on the Sustainable Banking Network, visit www.ifc.org/sbn.