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IFC, Thai Banks Advance Adoption of Environmental and Social Standards

Bangkok, Thailand, April 3, 2012 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping widen the adoption of environmental and social best practices among banks in Thailand for them to better manage financing risks and promote sustainable economic growth.
IFC and The Thai Bankers’ Association are holding a workshop in Bangkok today to introduce international best practices that guide banks and major investors in determining, assessing, and managing environmental and social risks in projects. These best practices include the Equator Principles, which have been adopted by more than 70 banks worldwide and are based on IFC’s Performance Standards for its clients.
“Environmental sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority among Thai banks. Banks using the right tools would be able to ensure that their investment projects have sound financial, social, and environmental returns,” said Twatchai Yongkittikul, Secretary-General of The Thai Bankers’ Association. “Our collaboration with IFC provides financial institutions in Thailand with the knowledge to pursue sustainable banking by adopting international standards.”
With a number of hydropower projects in the Mekong region financed by Thai banks, the workshop will also discuss the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which measures and guides performance in the hydropower sector at different stages of development and across a wide range of issues including biodiversity, water quality, dam safety, resettlement, and stakeholder engagement.
“Thai financial institutions play a key role as financiers in the Mekong region, especially of energy projects, and therefore, they are in a unique position to take leadership in creating environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth,” said Simon Andrews, IFC Regional Manager for Thailand, Cambodia, the Lao PDR, and Vietnam. “IFC aims to support Thai banks in taking on this leadership role.”
Today’s event is the second workshop convened by IFC and The Thai Bankers’ Association to support financial institutions in managing environmental and social risks while bringing about sustainable economic growth.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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About The Thai Bankers’ Association
Since its establishment in 1958, The Thai Bankers’ Association has played an active role in representing the banking community in discussions with the Bank of Thailand, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, and other government agencies in formulating and implementing key economic and financial policies. For more information, visit www.tba.or.th .