I am pleased to share our new five-year strategy with you.
The world has changed a lot in five years. The pandemic has pushed well over 100 million people into extreme poverty. Climate change has become the climate emergency, and every part of the globe is beginning to experience its effects. And we are witnessing greater understanding of the systemic injustices that hold people back and that lead to the burden of poverty falling unequally within populations.
Despite this global upheaval, I have reason to be optimistic about the future, and our role in helping create sustainable and equitable economic outcomes.
Our new strategy responds to the opportunities and challenges facing developing and emerging economies. To ensure our capital is used in the best way possible to meet these challenges and opportunities, it sets out three clear strategic objectives – to invest in productive, sustainable and inclusive development. They mean we will focus on:
Investing in green infrastructure and climate change: Over the next five years, at least 30 per cent of our total new commitments by value will be in climate finance. This will make us one of the world’s largest climate investors in Africa. We will also start providing climate finance in South East Asia, with a particular emphasis on green, renewable infrastructure.
Financing digital transformation: We will invest more in earlier-stage, disruptive businesses that offer radical solutions to global challenges. Technology-based businesses, including those that can build major digital infrastructure, are in desperate need of responsible, patient capital. We will step in to support them.
Driving inclusive outcomes: We’ll continue to strengthen our approach to gender and diversity finance. We are already a leader in the field of investing for women’s economic empowerment, and we have set a new target for 25 per cent of all new investments to qualify under the 2X Challenge, the initiative to boost financing for women. We will increase the representation of black African-owned and led businesses in our sub-Saharan Africa portfolio.
We’re proud to play a central role in the UK Government’s international financing offer. To highlight this role, on 4 April 2022 we will change our name to British International Investment plc. We’ll also use our proximity to the City of London to cement the UK as a global development finance hub by mobilising more capital alongside our own, and build partnerships with British businesses that operate in developing and emerging economies and who share our aims. We will continue to maintain world-class standards in impact management and responsible investing, and today we publish our Policy on Responsible Investing alongside this strategy, to reflect emerging requirements.
You can find a link to our strategy here and to our Investment Policy here.
Chief Executive Officer