The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) and the United Nations (UN) in Malaysia officially introduced the Malaysia SDG Investor Map, known as “the Map.”
This online market intelligence tool, developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from MITI and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), aims to assist private investors in identifying investment opportunities that align with and adhere to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The Map allows interested investors to discover environmentally sustainable and socially just investment opportunities by identifying Malaysia’s SDG-aligned business models referred to as Investment Opportunity Areas (IoAs). Investing in these areas would contribute to the advancement of the SDGs.
The Map is accessible for free on both the UNDP SDG Investor Platform and MIDA’s website. It provides an overview of 15 identified IoAs within six sectors that have significant potential for impactful development: Technology & Communications, Health Care, Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy, Financials, Food & Beverage, and Infrastructure.
During the launch, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul emphasized the importance of a comprehensive government policy to mobilize substantial capital and achieve sustainable objectives.
He highlighted the potential of the SDG Investor Map, coupled with appropriate investment and tax incentives, as a powerful platform to direct valuable capital towards SDG-aligned investments.
United Nations Resident Coordinator (Malaysia) Karima El Korri recognized the significance of the Map as a timely intervention. She stressed the importance of marshaling all available resources, both national and international, public and private, for SDG financing.
Engaging and incentivizing the private sector to contribute to the SDGs is crucial, going beyond ESG efforts and integrating sustainability and inclusion into businesses. The objective is to secure direct investments in SDG-aligned ventures.
Malaysia currently has well-developed capital markets, having raised RM26 billion from the equity market in 2022. Its bond market, valued at RM 1.7 trillion at the end of 2022, is the largest in Southeast Asia and ranks third in Asia, following Japan and South Korea. Malaysia has gained attention as a leading issuer of sukuk (Islamic bonds) since debuting its first social impact sukuk in 2015 and launching the world’s first green sukuk in 2017.
However, Niloy Banerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam, noted that despite the abundance of liquidity in the Malaysian capital markets, investments are not matching the available resources.
Risk aversion among investors is partly attributed to uncertainty regarding investments’ adherence to planet-positive and socially responsible criteria. The Map addresses this gap by providing investors with information on investment possibilities that prioritize the planet and social well-being.
Banerjee stressed the importance of investors and corporations actively using the Map as a market intelligence tool. He called for collaborative partnerships to leverage the Map and mobilize SDG-positive investments.
The next step is to identify and develop bankable projects while facilitating access to capital for enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), operating in these areas, thereby fostering economic growth.
Fabienne Michaux, Director of UNDP SDG Impact, highlighted how the Malaysia SDG Investor Map provides crucial on-the-ground market intelligence, enabling investors and policymakers to channel capital towards sustainable development. By providing qualitative information on areas in need of funding, the Map aims to inspire confidence among industry players to collaborate on priority sectors that can accelerate Malaysia’s progress towards the 2030 Agenda.
The launch of the Map signifies Malaysia’s commitment to realizing the SDGs by promoting and supporting investments in SDG-aligned sectors. It aligns with the strategic roadmap outlined in the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), which prioritizes long-term impact, sustainable growth, innovation, and inclusivity.
The launch event brought together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, major financial institutions, international organizations, government officials, and civil organization representatives. It served as a platform for collaborative efforts in leveraging investments for positive change and building a better future based on the Map’s findings.
The Malaysia SDG Investor Map joins the ranks of 30 other countries across emerging markets, including Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and other Asian countries, that have an SDG Investor Map. The SDG Investor Platform offers access to over 500 IoAs for exploration.