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Emerging markets present US$10 trn opportunity for sustainable development

Jan 16. 2020
Plakorn Wanglee, President & CEO at Standard Chartered Bank (Thai)
Plakorn Wanglee, President & CEO at Standard Chartered Bank (Thai)
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Thailand presents a US$58 billion opportunity for the private sector to invest in sustainable development, according to a report released by Standard Chartered on Thursday (January 16).

Titled "Opportunity2030: The Standard Chartered SDG Investment Map", it reveals an almost US$10 trillion (Bt302 trillion) opportunity for private-sector investors across all emerging markets, with Thailand representing around US$58 billion of that total.

The study identifies opportunities for the private sector to contribute to three infrastructure-focused goals between now and 2030: SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure across emerging markets.

Rapid progress, vast potential

In Thailand, the greatest SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) investment opportunities are found in transport infrastructure and improving digital access, both key indicators of SDG 9, which encourages improvement in industry, innovation and infrastructure.

Opportunity2030 finds that a significant improvment of Thailand’s transport infrastructure will require an estimated private-sector investment of US$40.6 billion between now and 2030, and to achieve universal digital adoption – a combination of mobile phone subscriptions rates and internet connectivity – will require private-sector investment of around US$17 billion.

Thailand already has universal access to power (a key SDG 7 indicator) and 99 per cent of the population has access to clean water and sanitation (a key SDG 6 indicator).

Achieving universal access to clean water and sanitation therefore represents a relatively modest opportunity for the private sector of US$0.7 billion.

Plakorn Wanglee, President & CEO at Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) said: “Thailand is an SDG success story so far. As the country continues its efforts towards the goals, the private sector has a central role to play, especially with the government expressing commitment to encourage more private sector investment.

“Opportunity2030 provides an important map of the SDG opportunities for private sector investors looking to invest with impact and improve the lives of millions of Thais over the next decade”.

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive at Standard Chartered, said:“The UN Sustainable Development Goals are among the most ambitious projects humanity has ever attempted. As well as offering our best hope yet of tackling the world’s most serious challenges, they also offer a unique opportunity for the private sector. For the goals to be met, the private sector must play a central role in deploying capital to get projects off the ground. Opportunity2030 provides a map of these opportunities, revealing the sectors and markets where investors can best contribute to the SDGs whilst achieving sustainable returns.”

“Currently, not enough capital is reaching the countries that need it the most. With the UN’s 2030 deadline for achieving SDGs just 10 years away, the time to act is now.”


Opportunity2030: The Standard Chartered SDG Investment Map is a macroeconomic study that draws on global data sources and indicative private-sector participation rates to provide companies, institutional investors and other stakeholders with an overview of where their investments could have the greatest impact. It spans 15 of the world’s fastest-growing economies and estimates the potential private-sector investment opportunity to contribute to three of the most investment-ready SDGs (6,7 and 9).

*Thailand already has universal access to power so the investment opportunity to achieve this is not included in the country’s total investment opportunity figure. However, with a growing economy, there will be an additional need for continual investment in affordable and clean energy to maintain access in a sustainable way.


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