DFCC Bank Chief Executive Arjun Fernando has been elected the new Chairman of the Association of Development Finance Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). He took over as Chairman at the conclusion of the 39th Annual Convention held in Apia, Samoa recently from Bhutan Development Bank Managing Director Pema Tshering.
This is the third time that a Chief Executive of DFCC has been appointed as Chairman of the ADFIAP with Moksevi Prelis and Nihal Fonseka being appointed to this position in 2000 and 2010, respectively.
Fernando is a career banker who possesses over 30 years of experience in the banking and financial service industry and has been on the ADFIAP board since 2013. He joined DFCC Bank in August 2012 as Deputy Chief Executive and was appointed as Chief Executive and Ex-Officio Director in October 2013. Prior to joining DFCC, he was the Asia Pacific, Regional Head of Change and Delivery (commercial banking, trade and supply chain) of HSBC, Hong Kong.
Apart from being Chief Executive of DFCC Bank, Fernando is also Chairman of DFCC Consulting (Pvt.) Ltd, Lanka Industrial Estates Ltd and Synapsys Ltd, subsidiary companies of DFCC Bank and Chairman of Acuity Partners (Pvt.) Ltd, joint venture company of DFCC Bank, and a Director of Lanka Ventures Ltd and the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka. Founded in 1976, the ADFIAP is the focal point of all financial institutions engaged in funding and providing support services for development in the region. It currently has 131 member-institutions in 45 countries including the Pacific Islands, Asia, Middle East and North America. The institution facilitates the work of Development Financing Institutions (DFIs) and professionals in advancing sustainable development through knowledge delivery and collaboration initiatives and is currently playing a key role in the development and implementation of the programmes in fulfilment of the UN-backed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. This year the theme of the Annual Convention was ‘FIs: Building Partnerships for Climate Change Resilience’. Climate change has become a burning issue and it is now dominantly measured with the formulation and implementation of the SDGs. Moreover, DFIs are called to be in the forefront of advancing climate-related financing instruments and services in different countries and in developing and undertaking innovative solutions in this regard.
The ADFIAP has continued to play an important role in climate finance as member DFIs have provided both financial and technical assistance to climate change-related projects such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean technologies, green infrastructure and sustainable agriculture among others. Speaking on DFCC’s own contribution towards mitigating climate change as a member DFI, Fernando said, “DFCC with over 60 years of experience has played a pioneering role in mitigating climate change through green financing. DFCC Bank was the first to finance Sri Lanka’s first private sector grid-connected mini hydropower project in 1994, the first private sector grid-connected wind power project in 2010 and the first private sector grid-connected solar power project in 2014 amongst others. With Sri Lanka also pledging its support towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and the setting up of a Sustainable Development Secretariat, our resolve is further strengthened. We will continue to contribute to Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka drawing on the experience and support of ADFIAP.”