Financial institutions have proven that they can be a major catalyst for positive change. The need for us to act collectively and with strength has never been greater than at this moment when we need to ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Public development banks (PDBs) from around the world have decided to convene for a first global summit, Finance in Common, on 11 & 12 November 2020. The aim is to coordinate action to confront the current crisis, while contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate.

Collectively, the 450 PDBs that will join the summit invest more than USD 2 trillion annually, which represents as much as 10 per cent of the total amount invested globally by all public and private sources combined. PDBs contribute to developing countries’ economic, environmental and social transformation.

Over the past decade, development finance institutions (DFIs), the public development banks dedicated to the private sector in low- and middle-income countries, have moved to the centre stage of global development finance. European bilateral Development Finance Institutions have become key contributors to the private sector mobilisation efforts needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030. As such, our institutions have experienced remarkable growth and a strengthening of our investment practices. Today, European DFIs strive to be role models for other investors in the delivery of sustainable development impact.

At European level, the EDFI Association has been supporting cooperation among its member institutions, and with European and multilateral institutions, for more than 25 years. EDFI offers a valuable platform to promote the networks of European DFIs, to drive industry innovation and inform policy, and to manage joint financing instruments on behalf of its members through the EDFI Management Company.

In this special edition of the Private Sector & Development magazine, EDFI member institutions are sharing their perspectives and exploring ways to increase their cooperation with other financial institutions. They examine a number of global development challenges. What can PDBs and DFIs do to support the private sector in developing countries and reinforce the impacts on gender equality, decent jobs and climate? How can European DFIs achieve impact on key SDGs and climate? What responses are provided to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) overcome the Covid-19 crisis? How can DFIs and partners help improve the business environment for the private sector in fragile and conflict-affected countries? Experts from across the EDFI network are exploring answers to these important questions. We hope that you will enjoy reading the magazine.