HSBC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) this week announced a US $ 300 million financing programme to help the region’s supply chains scale-up to deliver life-saving vaccines at both volume and pace.
The targeted financing will inject the much-needed liquidity into the complex vaccine ecosystem – from sourcing and manufacturing through to distribution. It will support the ecosystem’s long-term reconfiguration to deliver mass COVID-19 inoculation programmes durably while ensuring other therapeutic areas are
not left wanting.
The public-private partnership extends an innovative risk-sharing agreement between HSBC and ADB launched in July 2020, to support PPE suppliers. By leveraging ADB’s sovereign rating, the programme enables greater private sector participation than would otherwise be possible, leading to higher levels of liquidity. This is critical for developing economies for which trade finance shortages can represent a significant barrier to trade and consequently the fight against the pandemic.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, HSBC Global Head of Financial Institutions and Portfolio Management Surath Sengupta said, “The global fight against COVID will only be won when as many people as possible are vaccinated as quickly as possible. This programme’s timely and targeted financing will be a force for good. It will help build robust supply chains that enable a regular flow of vaccines and help ensure developing economies don’t fall behind while delivering health and economic benefits to Asia-Pacific and beyond.”
While the arrival of vaccines is a game changer, they are in short supply with the majority reserved by developed economies. A recent ICC Research Foundation study found that the global economy stands to lose up to US $ 9.2 trillion, if governments fail to ensure developing economies’ access to COVID-19 vaccines. However, HSBC Research shows inoculation progress in Asian economies differs markedly with some in the region still at the start line, due to limited supply of vaccines.
“We are pleased to have supported these deals, which are part of a range of initiatives we are undertaking to extend as much support as we can to our developing member countries so they get access to vaccines as quickly as possible,” said ADB Trade and Supply Chain Finance Head Steven Beck.
“We hope to support more vaccine transactions under our US $ 500-million Vaccine Import Facility, which is part of the Asian Development Bank’s US $ 9-billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility.”