Business ideas

$163m Dutch fund to boost eco-friendly business ideas

On August 10, the Netherlands Development Organization SNV hosted the Netherlands Climate and Development Fund (DFCD) matchmaking event in Cambodia to open doors for private sector investment in climate-focused initiatives. adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

The Dutch government launched the €160 million ($163 million) DFCD in November 2019 to “increase the resilience of the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems to climate change”.

The pioneering DFCD consortium, which includes SNV, “aims to set an example for institutional partnerships, to attract and deploy public and private capital into well-designed and effective climate-friendly projects,” the ministry said. Dutch Foreign Affairs in a statement.

The consortium members’ “long-standing project development expertise” and “capital raising and investment capabilities” will enable projects to move from ideas to full implementation, using funding entire life cycle,” he added.

According to SNV’s Country Director for Cambodia, Alexandrea Mandelbaum, the DFCD plans to focus on investments in the Kingdom and neighboring Laos in 2022-2023.

Speaking at the event, Mandelbaum revealed that DFCD’s funding is divided into three phases, each with a specific focus on concept study, initial investment and direct investment.

“We need to work together to help private sector companies – who are fighting climate change – successfully move forward, especially with more sustainable and efficient approaches to financing and productivity, from smallholders to agro-industry,” she said.

The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Environment, Tin Ponlok, said that to ensure the success of the initiative, the private sector must be able to choose commercial projects related to climate change, such as those in the management waste or solar energy.

“As we all know, there are not many bank loans in Cambodia that support businesses that protect the environment,” said Ponlok, who is also second vice president of the National Council for Sustainable Development.

“The current funding from the Dutch government fulfills its promise – on behalf of an advanced industrialized country – to help developing countries,” he added.

Commerce Ministry spokesperson Penn Sovicheat noted that his ministry has “always supported” the implementation of sustainable trade development projects, given that Cambodia is an exporter of agricultural products.

The production of agricultural goods, as well as trade, requires careful consideration of environmental impact, he explained.

“The Ministry of Commerce encourages farmers, the private sector and development partners to develop other projects that aim to encourage entrepreneurs in SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprise] sector to engage in environmentally friendly and climate-resilient trade or production,” he said.

Mong Reththy Group Deputy Managing Director Tan Monivann praised the DFCD, highlighting its role in ensuring food security through climate-smart agriculture, but pointed out that the private sector may face challenges. barriers to obtaining funding.

“I encourage all major companies that have invested in agriculture to cooperate with relevant institutions, especially ministries of agriculture, environment and economy, to work together to create these projects,” did he declare.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that the DFCD “provides financial and technical assistance to projects focusing on adaptation to climate change, in order to mobilize large-scale external financing from the private sector”.

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