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Public Development Banks joining forces to transform the financial system towards climate and sustainability



FiCS Summit 2023

Cartagena, Colombia
4 - 6 September 2023

For the fourth consecutive year, all Public Development Banks (PDBs) have come together to strengthen their partnership and reinforce their commitments in support of common actions for climate change and sustainable development. This year's edition was co-hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank, CAF, Bancoldex and the Latin American Association of Development Financing Institutions (ALIDE).

Four main themes were adressed: SMEs and financial inclusion, Climate and biodiversity, Sustainable infrastructures, and PDBs' institutional agenda. The Summit also adressed four major cross-cutting issues: social mainstreaming and development impact, private capital mobilization towards SDG goals, collaboration with civil society and incorporation of human rights in strategies and programs, and Latin America and Caribbean perspective.

Who we are

Finance in Common is the global network of all Public Development Banks (PDBs), which aims to align financial flows on the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement for Climate Change.

Our objective is to strengthen partnerships among PDBs to accelerate the convergence towards shared standards and best practices, to support banks’ commitments to shift their strategies towards sustainability, and to give PDBs more visibility in the global fora discussing international policy issues. By mobilizing PDBs and crucial stakeholders, from private sector to civil society organizations, we aim to encourage more coherent approaches to make the whole development finance system consistent with our common climate and sustainability objectives.


Joint dEclaration

Joint dEclaration

During the initial Summit in 2020, Public Development Banks not only gathered for the first time ever, but they also signed an ambitious Joint Declaration. 

In 2020, FICS gathered all PDBs worldwide for the first time during the initial FICS Summit in Paris, which led to a Joint Declaration, in which PDBs agree to shift their strategies, investment patterns, activities and operating modalities to contribute to the achievements of the SDGs and the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Since then, FICS has created a Secretariat, hosted by AFD, structured its inclusive governance through its Executive Committee, supported its now eleven Thematic Working Groups and organized other FICS summits, all to execute and implement the Joint Declaration.

FICS infographic

FICS infographic

Check out the Finance in Common's new infographic showcasing who we are, our different workstreams, how our governance is structured, and our future objectives. 

What we do

  • Community of practice

    To implement the Joint Declaration, FICS members joined forces within several Thematic Coalitions, organized around major issues of interest for PDBs, from climate to urban challenges.

    These Thematic Coalitions allow members to share good practices, expertise and experiences. We believe that a good community of practice can push PDBs to unleash their full potential by learning and implementing innovative strategies. Through the FICS Thematic Coalition, PDBs learn and engage amongst peers, advance collaboration on the ground, and ultimately strengthen their impact.

  • International Agenda

    Beyond its annual global Summit of all Public Development Banks, which aims to bring different perspectives and expertise together to discuss the most pressing issues.

    FICS also participates in high-level global events on climate and sustainable development to carry the voice and perspective of PDBs within global development conversations.

  • Marketplace

    FICS is a network offering a place where PDBs can talk about their operations, business models and projects. 

    Here they can develop common practices and receive mutual recognition that can lead to co-financing and other partnership opportunities that contribute to strengthen impact on the ground, particularly among PDBs from the Global South.

PDBs Database

The Institute of New Structural Economics of Beijing University and the French Development Agency have joined hands to create the first comprehensive database on Public Development Banks and Development Financing Institutions.

Although PDBs and DFIs can play an increasingly important role in overcoming crises, tackling climate change, and promoting economic structural transformation worldwide, there is a huge gap in terms of identifying these public financial institutions and collecting relevant data on their role, functioning and effectiveness. Uncovering this blind spot of the global financial architecture is central to building a coalition to shift resource flows towards sustainable development. The database aims to fill in this gap.

PDBs are making “last mile” banking a reality, as most of them operate at a national (57%) and sub-national (20%) level and have deep roots in local economic and social fabrics.


Public Development Banks at a glance


522 PDBs

in 2020


$23 Trillion

in assets


$2.7 Trillion

of new financing in 2022 12% of global investment

Where in the world are pbd’s?

  • What are Public Development Banks?

    PDBs are state-owned financial institutions that aim to support economic development in a country or region.

    PDBs share four characteristics:

    • They enjoy independent legal status and financial autonomy.
    • They are controlled or supported by central or local governments.
    • They execute a public mandate, addressing market inconsistencies.
    • They are not engaged in commercial banking, individual bank accounts or consumer credit.
  • Why are they important?

    With their public policy-oriented mandate, experience in financing development and long-term focus, PDBs play a unique role in leveraging public finance to address market failures and aligning financial flows towards sustainable development. In times of crisis, PDBs have a counter-cyclical role, as highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic where they mobilized a record level of financing, increasing their total investments by at least 15% compared to 2019. PDBs act as SDGs enablers, working to preserve common goods, increase resilience, and deliver the institutional change and real economic outcomes needed to help turn the SDGs into reality.

  • What is FICS doing through its research agenda?

    To further understand these financial institutions, the Research Initiative on Public Development Banks mobilizes over 20 academics and think tanks under a dedicated research agenda. The objective of this initiative is to advance the understanding on the role of PDBs and their contribution to the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement objectives. Multiple research papers have been produced, and they are usually presented during a research conference, taking place a day prior to the FICS summit, to enrich the upcoming policy dialogues and decision-making.