Green and Sustainable economic recovery post-pandemic COVID-19 are the main agenda for countries, including the ASEAN region. The Climate Bond Initiative estimated that the issuance of green, social, and sustainability (GSS) bonds and loans in the ASEAN reached a record high of USD12.8bn in 2020, up slightly from the USD11.5bn issued in 2019. The cumulative issuance in ASEAN now stands at USD29.4bn. The ASEAN region also faces the consequences of climate change, from typhoons and tropical diseases to melting glaciers and rising oceans. Therefore, early climate action by the region is both in the global and the region’s own interest. Maximizing sustainable finance could be one of the best options to weather the storm.
In support of the development of the sustainable finance market in the region, the World Bank Group will be organizing a series of webinars focused on the perspectives of countries under the Sustainable ExchangE Development Series (SEEDS) from October 2021 to January 2022. SEEDS is a series of webinars that will feature good policy and regulatory practices, as well as sustainable finance products and services, using a peer-to-peer format. The initial set of webinars will highlight key lessons in one country shared and discussed with regional audiences, followed by a panel session of peers from several other countries discussing these developments and their applicability within their own countries. The first 4 webinars in the series will cover Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, chosen based on dialogue with respective authorities. These “on the ground”, peer-to-peer knowledge exchange events can provide valuable and timely information to policymakers, allowing them to encourage further innovation within their own markets.