EDFI, the association of European development financiers, held its annual meeting in Helsinki on 18-19 May. The group also celebrated 25 years of cooperation.
One of the quest speakers was internationally renowned development economist Sir Paul Collier, professor of economics and public policy at the University of Oxford.
“Development of the private sector is vital for development. Without proper firms poor countries stay poor,” Professor Collier stated in his speech.
Discussions were conducted, for instance, on the changing environment of development finance and topical issues. The meeting also included speeches from the Canadian and the American development financiers, as well as and the European Commission, the European Development Bank and the OECD.
During the meeting, the foreign ministries responsible for steering the development finance institutions also held their own meeting, led by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
“In addition to co-operation we do on a daily basis in terms of common projects and tools as well as continuous exchange of information, it is important that we meet regularly among European development financiers and discuss our cooperation and the future of development financing in general. Finnfund was honored to host the meeting this year, which is also the 25th year of cooperation for the European development finance institutions,” says Jaakko Kangasniemi, CEO of Finnfund.
In addition to the European development institutions, participants included the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the representatives of several other European ministries, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the OECD. Representatives of the Global Affairs Canada and Export Development Canada, as well as the American Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) also participated the meeting.
EDFI is an association of 15 European development finance institutions operating in developing and reforming economies. They are mandated by their governments to foster growth in sustainable businesses, help reduce poverty and improve people’s lives, and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030. The development finance institutions promote economically, environmentally and socially sustainable development through financing and investing in profitable private sector enterprises. The association strives to strengthen information flow and cooperation between its members and other bilateral, multilateral and regional development finance institutions.