UNDP and Invest India Conjointly Launch Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Investor Map

Laying out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Invest India joined hands together on Friday to launch the SDG Investor Map for India. Categorized across six critical SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) empowering sectors, these IOAs can help India to thrust the needle forward on Sustainable Development – reveals UNDP, which works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities through the sustainable development of nations.

The 6 SDG-enabling sectors include education, healthcare, agriculture & allied activities, financial services, renewable energy & alternatives and sustainable environment. These sectors and the IOAs within them were selected through a rigorous analytical process that included extensive consultations with a number of major domestic and international investors, government stakeholders and think-tanks. This ensured that the Map's findings were truly reflective of market sentiment, the UNDP said.

“This initiative is an instrumental stride in India's development trajectory, as India occupies a key role in determining the success of the SDGs, globally. With a hope that our data-backed research and insights serve as useful blueprints to understand how best the SDG financing gap can be narrowed in India, I believe it couldn't have come at a better time” said Deepak Bagla, Invest India MD & CEO.

According to UNDP, the development pathway that India chooses will set an example for other emerging nations and determine the achievement of global environmental and social targets. It is thus critical to ensure that these pathways are sustainable, resilient and equitable.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SDG financing gap has widened by an estimated USD 400 billion in developing countries, adding to the pre-COVID shortfall of USD 2-2.5 trillion per annum, it said. Whilst the government continues to show strong support for the SDGs and a sustainable recovery, mobilizing this kind of capital and supporting the on-ground innovation needed to meet the SDG targets by 2030, requires the collective efforts of the public and private sector transition from short-term recovery to long-term sustainability, said the release.

Of the 18 IOAs identified, 10 are already mature investable areas that have seen robust private equity and venture capital activity, and feature companies that have been able to unlock scale and demonstrate profitability. The remaining eight IOAs are emerging opportunities, which have seen traction from early-stage investors, said the UN development agency. The UNDP said nearly 50 per cent of the shortlisted IOAs have historical investments that have yielded IRRs (Internal Rate of Return) in excess of 20 per cent. While 84 per cent of the IOAs have investment timeframes ranging from the short term (less than 5 years) to the medium-term (between 5- 15 years).

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