UN Investment Fair: Nearly $600m of investments pitched to accelerate progress towards SDGs


Senior representatives from governments, the private sector and the international trade and development community gathered at the United Nations SDG Investment Fair on 1-2 December to boost investments in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Launched in 2018, the Fair has become a leading platform to facilitate dealmaking in SDG investment, with over US$10 billion worth of projects in infrastructure, green energy, and agribusiness presented so far. Now in its 7th edition, twenty countries across all regions have been showcased as SDG investment destinations.

At the 7th Edition of the SDG Investment Fair, Colombia, Eswatini, and Malawi are pitching nearly $600 million worth of high-impact, investment-ready projects in sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, and digital connectivity.

Building on global efforts to boost climate financing at COP27, the Fair also features an event to promote clean energy investments in Colombia. These will make a significant contribution to the country’s transition to renewable energy, while improving social conditions in La Guajira and other regions of the country.

Scaling up private investment is crucial to achieve the SDGs. Despite a rebound of foreign direct investment in 2021, private investment in infrastructure in developing countries remains low relative to historical averages, whereas the Least Developing Countries (LDCs) have the lowest rates of investment in sustainable development and that remains a key challenge. The Fair is the platform to address it.

“Private investment flows into relevant SDG sectors are still largely failing to reach the ground in developing countries that need it the most,” says Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development Navid Hanif. “We have put a strong focus on this edition of the Fair on how to mobilize private investment in least developed countries.”

Against this backdrop, the Fair convened a policy discussion to explore unique challenges and success stories of the least developed countries in attracting private capital for sustainable infrastructure, leading up to the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) next year.

“The SDG Investment Fair has helped the Kenyan Government to showcase priority investment opportunities in Kenya across multiple sectors to a global audience of investors, financiers and technical experts,” said Stephen Jackson, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, one of the panellists joining the Fair.

Hosted by the Financing for Sustainable Development Office of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the SDG Investment Fair facilitates a range of activities in New York City, as well as capacity building at the national level to enhance the investment readiness and bankability of projects and SDG financing vehicles in participating countries.