Berlin – Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe Natividad addressed an audience of international political, business, and finance leaders at the Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards Ceremony as the guest of honor at the City Hall of Karlsruhe, Germany last 4 July 2013. The international event was attended by, among others, former EU Commissioner and Foreign Minister of Austria Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and Lord Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup who welcomed the participants from all over the world.
Ambassador Natividad also received an award for the Development Bank of the Philippines in recognition of their innovative finance services in implementing its loan program. Two other Philippine institutions were recognized for innovative and sustainable financing – Land Bank of the Philippines and Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc.
The city of Karlsruhe presented three awards: Best Innovation in Sustainable Financial Product & Services, Outstanding Sustainable Project Financing and Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement. Development banks from India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka won the main awards. The awards night was the highlight of the two-day Global Sustainable Finance Conference 2013: People, Planet, Prosperity which brought together international political, business, and finance leaders for an intensive discussion on innovative investments in climate and environment protection.
During the Conference, there were presentations on small and medium-sized enterprises; project financing; sustainable and low-carbon economies; sustainability as a factor in finance strategies; environmental change as it relates to sustainable development; and sustainable technologies.
In her speech, Ambassador Natividad recognized the Global Sustainable Finance Conference as an excellent platform for dialogue and business networking in the field of sustainable finance and investments. She also acknowledged the work of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) under the leadership of its President and CEO Mr. Gil Buenaventura.
“I should give credit where credit is due: to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the innovative people behind their “Water Revolving Fund”. I would not be here now without their excellent work,” the Ambassador said.
The Ambassador also cited the pivotal role of the DBP in the quest for sustainable and inclusive growth in the Philippines.
“It is one of the first banks in our country to integrate environmental considerations in all aspects of its operations. The DBP’s thrusts are in line with the investment priorities plan of His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III which encourages greater investments in green projects, infrastructures, and renewable energy. As in the past, the DBP is contributing to the outstanding economic growth of the Philippines this year.”
The Ambassador also expressed her admiration for Karlsruhe as “Green City” of Germany – as a model for sustainable development and stated that there is a great potential for cooperation between the Philippines and the entire Technologie Region Karlsruhe.
“There are areas where our interests converge. At over 92 million strong, the Philippines has a population dividend that can potentially help address yours skills shortage and at the same time facilitate skills transfer to us. We want to invest in our human capital and partner with an innovation and technology leader, such as Karlsruhe. We only need the proper mechanisms to facilitate this mutually-beneficial exchange, ” she stated.
The call for closer cooperation was well received by Lord Mayor Mentrup.
In closing, the Ambassador congratulated the organizers of the first Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards and the Lord Mayor for the successful gathering and urged further cooperation towards a sustainable future. – END-