9 June 2021 / Interview

UNCDF’s Preeti Sinha: Avoiding the most dramatic market failure of our time

By Natalie Kenway

In her keynote at the Global ESG Summit, UNCDF executive secretary discussed risk, short-termism, MSMEs and human capital

UNCDF’s Preeti Sinha: Avoiding the most dramatic market failure of our time

ESG Clarity is delighted to share the keynote speech given by Preeti Sinha, executive secretary at United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), at our recent Global ESG Summit.

Sinha (pictured) gave the opening keynote speech at Summit detailing her role and how UNCDF, which partnered with Last Word/Bonhill on the event, ensures that it helps raise the living standards for people around the world, particularly in the world’s pre-frontier and frontier markets. 

Preeti became executive secretary of the UNCDF in February this year and is an experienced investment and development banker with a 30-year track record associated with raising and managing institutional public and private development capital.

In her speech she discusses why the UNCDF exists and how it operates as well as projects in the pipeline.

See also: Dual Key System: How UNCDF measures financial impact

Looking at the global economy, Sinha gives her view on “how to avoid risk when you can and mitigate it when you must”, short-termism, working with MSMEs and the reforms needed in order to “deliver the transformation we all seek”.

She also explores the idea that private capital is a scarce resource and questions how this can be the case when current global wealth approaches $400trn and the problems frontier markets face in terms of securing capital funding.

See also: – UNCDF: Take an evaluative approach to measuring impact

“At this point, what matters [most] is the prospect we all face: the prospect of witnessing the most dramatic example of ‘market failure’ of our time,” she told delegates at the Summit.

“How else should we describe the outcomes of a global financial architecture where commercial investments that also possess development potential in frontier and pre-frontier markets consistently fail to receive capital in the face of $4trn in private equity assets; while at the same time, projects that pollute our environment, lack any significant ESG value, and divert capital from those who need it the most have more capital than they know what to do with? How else should we describe this status quo if not ‘market failure?’”

To view the full video of her speech, click below.

Global ESG Summit |UNCDF Keynote Speech