Samantha Lacey: Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility, CDC
Peter McAllister: Director, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
Andrew Wilson: Director of Policy, International Chamber of Commerce
Julian Wolfson: Associate Director, Business Development, Europe, Acumen (tbc)
Caroline Rees: President, Shift
Natasha Buckley: Implementation Support Manager, Principles for Responsible Investment
Emerging markets private equity investment reached its highest level in 2014 since the Financial Crisis, with investors committing $33.75 billion to 1,246 deals compared to $26.77 billion and 1,058 deals a year earlier, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Sub Saharan Africa in particular has attracted record amounts of private investment, attracted by the potential of a young population, a growing middle class and increased macro-economic stability.
The key role of private investment in driving economic growth and job creation is increasingly emphasised by governments and donors. The Financing for Development Summit, taking place in Addis Ababa in mid-July and aiming to secure the means for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, highlights the key role of private investment. At the same time, it also emphasises the need for investors to adopt principles and reporting standards for socially and environmentally responsible business, which includes good health and safety, constructive community relations, preventing pollution, protecting workers rights and biodiversity, preventing and fighting corruption, illicit financial flows and tax evasion.
As CDC, the UK development finance institution and among the largest players in emerging markets private equity, launches its updated ESG Toolkit for Fund Managers, this online series will examine how improvements in responsible investment practice can improve business performance and development outcomes.
Key questions to address include:
1. How can responsible investment practice contribute to improved business performance in developing countries?
2. Where are we seeing the most progress in managing environmental, social and governance issues in developing countries, and where do the greatest barriers remain?
3. How can the adoption of responsible business practices in developing countries amongst local firms improve their competitiveness and opportunities to access global supply chains; and how can large companies play a role in supporting local firms to improve ESG performance?
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