In the wake of COVID-19, we must capitalize on the opportunity to reset the economic system and build one that incentivizes sustainable and inclusive economic growth with strong private sector participation. By leveraging the power of the 4IR, renewable energy, innovative financing and resilience mechanisms, ocean’s economy, smart policy for investment facilitation and economic diversification, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can become thriving economies of the future.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, Devex and the World Economic Forum co-hosted an online event, Catalyzing a new future: From small islands to great ocean states. Together, we highlighted the steps we must take to move the needle on inclusive economic growth and how to put Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at the forefront. The COVID-19 pandemic proved existing systems and resources were woefully ill-prepared and insufficient to protect communities and markets from health, socio-economic and political shocks. The pandemic accelerated the fragility of local systems and underlined the importance of long-term resilience building. Any proposed solutions must include the world’s most vulnerable populations living in low-income and/or conflict-affected contexts.
Introduction & fireside chat with The Hon. Allen Chastanet
Closing remarks & fireside chat with H.E. Lord Ahmad
Lord Ahmad is the Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). He was first appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and as Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations on 13 June 2017.
Group Advisor on Natural Capital, since January 2021, Marine joined the Group HSBC in 2004, as Head of Sustainability for France and then Europe. Executive committee member of HSBC Continental Europe she accompanies the various businesses and functions in the management of their sustainability stakes and those of their customers.
Before joining HSBC, Marine initiated a sustainability strategy for Tiscali Group, Internet Service Provider and headed the multimedia department of the publishing conglomerate Excelsior.
Allen M. Chastanet is a Saint Lucian businessman, politician, and current Prime Minister. He was Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation and a member of the Saint Lucian Senate from 2006 to 2011.
Mr. Zarak Khan was appointed as Director Programmes and Initiatives at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on 3 June 2019. He was formerly the Fijian Consul General and Trade Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand based in Sydney, Australia from 2016-2019. During his tenure as Consul General and Trade Commissioner, Mr Khan contributed to attracting over F$120 million in foreign direct investment to Fiji from the Australian and New Zealand markets as well as over F$15 million in Fijian exports to both markets.
Mr. Jorge Moreira da Silva is since 1st November 2016 the Director of the Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) at OECD. From 2013 to 2015, he was Portugal’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Spatial Planning. Prior to this Ministerial position, Mr. Moreira da Silva served as Senior Environmental Finance Advisor and Programme Manager on Climate Change Innovative Finance at UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy (2009-2012); Senior Advisor to the President of Portugal (2006-2009); Secretary of State for Science and Higher Education and Secretary of State for Environment and Spatial Planning (2003- 2005).
Valeria Ramundo Orlando is a partner and co-founder at Greensquare Ventures. With more than 20 years of experience working at the nexus of finance, government and development, Valeria has been recognized as an authority in blended finance and conservation finance. Before founding Greensquare Ventures, Valeria led a non-profit’s Blended Finance Team where she signed pioneering agreements with multiple emerging economies to design blended finance vehicles.
Raj Kumar is a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of the book "The Business of Changing the World," a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.