Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says careful thought, technical analysis and means testing have gone into structuring Fiji’s first blue bond.
Speaking at the Launch of Fiji’s Sovereign Blue Bond, the Deputy Prime Minister said the Coalition Government took the time to assess the pros and cons of such an issuance and ensured that Fiji’s partners gave the best possible information to make an informed decision about raising debt in the form of a Blue Bond.
Prof Prasad said learning of Fiji’s 2017 green bond issuance has set the parameters for this blue bond issuance to only make sense from an environment and conservation perspective but from an investment perspective too.
He said that in early 2023, the Fiji Government and UNDP began identifying a comprehensive list of national priority projects, which underwent a robust multicriteria elimination process.
“Shortlisted projects then went through detailed techno-economic assessments and feasibility studies to ascertain potential returns on investment, development impact potential, environmental and non-environmental risks as well as other parameters that helped the Government make an informed selection of robust projects that would benefit from blue bond financing.”
“These projects were then put through the 2023-2024 National Budget process before being endorsed by Parliament as part of the coalition Government’s first ever national budget. We then went on to develop a Bond prospectus along with a comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation Framework,” Prof Prasad said.
He said the issuance of a blue bond will allow Government to implement its climate and environment conservation work without compromising its existing socio-economic commitments and it will help tap into the large domestic liquidity and divert private capital towards projects that would have otherwise never received funding from the private sector.
Prof Prasad added that this will help set the foundations for growth of new emerging sectors such as aquaculture, marine engineering, waste management using public private partnership and the establishment of community led coastal business in the marine protected areas.