In this article, we review the events and discussions that unfolded at the second edition of the FiCS held in Rome 19-20 October.

More than 160 high-level speakers participated in the 2021 Finance in Common Summit (FiCS), including 50 in person in Rome. After two days of work on 20 thematic and research events, large-scale actions were decided, focusing on the major theme of this edition: sustainable agriculture, agribusiness, and food systems.

The Summit was also an opportunity to measure the progress made by this new international movement, which was initiated at the first FiCS in Paris in 2020 and brings together public development banks (PDBs) that operate globally, regionally, or by theme.

The summit also made it possible to:

  • consolidate ongoing work to support African SMEs
  • launch the PDB platform for agriculture financing
  • structure gender-equality initiatives
  • illustrate the relevance of sports to development
  • announce solutions for investment in water and social goods, climate finance, and adaptation

Attendance at the summit reached nearly 3,000 people over two days. More than 8,000 were able to follow the streaming of the sessions. These numbers are proof that there is interest in public banks working together to provide sustainable solutions in times of crisis, all the while maintaining long-term investments to build back better, sustainably and inclusively, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.

Academic, strategic, and operational deliverables

Our database, unique in the world and developed in partnership with Peking University, now lists 527 PDBs, with close to $20 trillion in total assets and $3.5 trillion in estimated financingin 2020, representing about 13% of global investment, up 15% in 2019. These PDBs are mainly banks created by States to finance their national needs: 90% of them are national (70%) or sub-national (20%), with only 10% international/multilateral. Click here to read more about the key data.

At the Summit, the 14 thematic coalitions involving PDBs and international and/or civil society organizations were very active. In all, 11 reports and 8 thematic statements were issued in Rome, at an event in which several dozen speakers took a public stand.

The FiCS and the coalitions released their first annual progress report on October 20, based on the commitments of the Joint Declaration at the 2020 FiCS.

Finance in Common is becoming increasingly recognized internationally. It has received the COP26 and COP15 label and been formally recognized by G20 Finance Ministers on the role of PDBs in financing climate solutions and achieving the SDGs. Additionally, the Berne Union’s official support for Finance in Common is opening the way for long-desired cooperation aiming at greening the financing of export credit agencies and insurers.

A successful second edition

The FiCS met its commitments to bring on board new public banks from the emerging world than in the previous edition. In total, 23 countries* were represented by their national banks or country officials, thereby promoting dialogue between PDBs and their shareholders and other key stakeholders present at the summit. 14 regional or multilateral banks** participated in the summit at the highest level.

Also active participants were civil society, private investors, local governments, sponsors, think tanks and academic research centers.


*Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia; Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain; Africa: Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo; Asia: China, Japan, India, Russia, Turkey