The Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar) is making a concerted effort through a range of approaches to attract and capture environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) benefits from foreign direct investments (FDI), according to its latest report.
The report, ‘Road to ESG Investing – Financing Sustainable Growth in Qatar’, underscored that despite the ongoing global impact of Covid-19, the pandemic “has raised a critical awareness of the sustainability dimension of economic development.”
“The crisis symbolised the moment environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) financing went mainstream and acted as a catalyst to speed up the trend toward sustainability in investment.
“A growing number of countries are developing ESG frameworks to promote sustainability and facilitate greenfield investment, particularly in sustainable development sectors,” the report stated.
IPA Qatar noted that it recognises the key role of ESG in attracting FDI and in shaping the future of the investment landscape, thus pursuing its crucial role of promoting and facilitating investment across sustainable development sectors in Qatar, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
“In this vein, attracting sustainability-conscious investors, providing them with investment solutions, and connecting them with relevant stakeholders to channel their investments to lucrative opportunities remain at the core of IPA Qatar’s objectives.
“This is exactly what the report discusses. It provides a thorough overview of the integral role of FDI in advancing sustainability initiatives and underlines the array of sustainable finance opportunities in Qatar. It also sets out further analysis and recommendations on the transition toward ESG-based investments,” stated the report.
On sustainable opportunities in Qatar, the report noted that the UN estimates that the financing gap for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets in Arab countries is estimated to be at least $230bn annually.
“The ongoing efforts by Qatar present a lucrative opportunity for both – sustainable financial investors looking for investment opportunities, as well as businesses keen on expanding their international operations.
“International project finance has been a key source of investment in productive capacity, especially for large-scale projects in energy, transport infrastructure, and natural capital, and Qatar is an emerging hotspot of such ESG-aligned projects,” the report said.
As part of its goal to attract and capture ESG benefits from FDI, some of IPA Qatar’s efforts include providing a platform to access the available mix of financial, fiscal, and regulatory incentives for business set-up; targeting investment in particular sectors and activities through the right partner connections and introduction facilitation; and reducing information asymmetries and other barriers to investment.
“As a single and complete source for investment solutions, IPA Qatar helps connect investors to the right people, resources, and platforms throughout the investment process.
“IPA Qatar acts as a gateway for investors to get access to key stakeholders – regulators, lawmakers, supervisors, financial institutions, large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), non-government organisations (NGOs), and universities that have been playing an inalienable role in sustainable development,” the report said.
It added: “Sustainable investment is a key opportunity and Qatar is looking to attract both issuers and investors to its capital markets to boost its financial sector. The journey to becoming a preferred landing place for such investments is still ongoing, and dedicated efforts are underway by all the major stakeholders involved.”
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