From June 30 to July 1, "From Beliefs to Action: 2022 International Forum for China Impact Investment (IFCII)" was held online. Many renowned experts and guests gathered again at the forum to witness the achievements made in socially responsible investment (SRI) in China and discuss its future development.
The 2022 IFCII was organized by the China Inclusive Finance Institute (CAFI) and co-organized by YICAI Research Institute and Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and supported by Efund, CICC Capital, Bank of Ningbo, and CreditEase Impact Investment Fund.
Duoguang Bei, Secretary General of IFCII and President of CAFI, announced the opening of the forum. Qing Wu, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Committee and Executive Vice Mayor of Shanghai, and Yudong Yang, Editor-in-Chief of YICAI Research Institute delivered opening remarks. Jizhe Ning, Vice Chair of Committee of Economic Affairs of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and Guangshao Tu, Co-Chair of IFCII, member of the CPPCC and Executive Director of SAIF Board delivered speeches.
In his speech, Qing Wu extended his warm congratulations on the 2022 IFCII. He said that SRI, as a new investment form under the new development paradigm, represents high-quality and sustainable development of financial services. At present, China has entered a new development stage and implemented the new development philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, which puts forward higher requirements for investment. At the same time, more and more institutions begin to pay attention to the environmental and social benefits of investment, optimizing the allocation of financial resources, and the new development paradigm. Shanghai has a good foundation in SRI development and will implement the new development philosophy to support and expand SRI. It will guide more capital flows to green and low-carbon development, to SMEs, and to urban development for the people, among others.
SRI is attracting increasing attention in China with the concept of co-benefits increasingly popular among the people. However, we still need to find an entry point and an effective pathway to put it in place. Focusing on the "co-benefits" in the fields of rural revitalization, green finance, just transition, and pension investment management, 2022IFCII aims to provide insights and demonstrations for SRI. Nearly 40 experts, scholars, and representatives of business organizations, including Shirley Yu-Tsui, Senior Vice President of Visa and Group Country Manager for Visa Greater China, and Mei Liu, President of the Beijing Branch of Citibank (China) Co., Ltd., together with nearly 40 experts and business representatives expressed their views in various sessions of the forum. Duoguang Bei, and Shuo Qin, the Co-Director of the Commercial Civilization Research Center of China were engaged in an engaging Dialogue on "Both Profit and Impact. Is Milton Friedman Wrong about Corporate Social Responsibility?"
On behalf of the research team, Xu Hu, Deputy Head of Research at CAFI, released the Report, "Unlocking the Potential: Harness Impact Investing to Revitalizing Rural China" (hereinafter referred to as the Report). The Report shows that for China, sustainable development cannot be achieved without rural revitalization. To achieves this end requires not only upgrading agricultural and rural infrastructure and developing rural industries but also improving public services and the value of rural ecological products. In filling the funding gap of local entities, SRI can make a difference. As an emerging concept, SRI pursues both social benefits and financial returns. Therefore, SRI is more likely to participate in rural development and generate win-win results with local residents, making it a more suitable investment for rural revitalization. Then Zhenwei Liu, Deputy Director of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), and Shouying Liu, Professor and Dean of School of Economics, Renmin University of China, commented on the Report.
Xiaoxi Sun, Co-Chair of IFCII and Former Vice Chairman of the National Council of Social Security Fund, Yanli Zhou, Co-Chair of IFCII, Member of the Economic Committee of CPPCC, Former Deputy Party Secretary and former Vice Chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) shared their insights on the industry development at five thematic sessions: "How to Make Green Finance More Inclusive?" "Rural revitalization and Urbanization: a Dilemma?""How Can Finance Help in Promoting Low-Carbon Transition?" “ESG Investing and the Third Pillar of Pensions" and "Trends and Prospect of Impact Investing". Tzu-Kuan CHIU, Professor of Finance at SAIF, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Academic Director of Sustainable Finance Discipline Development Fund at SAIF delivered a speech on “From Green Finance to Transition Finance”.
China's economic and social development has entered a new stage of high-quality development that pursues goals related to social harmony and people's well-being, such as rural revitalization, "carbon peaking" and "carbon neutrality". The 2022 IFCII has built a platform for communication and dialogue between the government, market players, and industry associations. It is expected that SRI can fill the funding gap in the rural revitalization and advance agriculture modernization by developing the rural industry, protecting and improving rural livelihood, constructing livable and beautiful villages, and that the bright and harmonious future shared by the people, the community, and the nature will be created.