GLOBALCDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution (DFI), has added Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region as its new focus area for business expansion as it renames itself as British International Investment beginning April 2022.

It has also appointed former Google executive Diana Layfield as its new chairperson. Layfield is the first woman to be appointed as chairperson and will be taking charge from Graham Wrigley, who will be stepping down early in 2022 after a transitional period.

The British impact investor’s five-year strategy is now “tilting to the Indo-Pacific,” the statement said. Historically, CDC has focussed on South Asia and Africa.

Its investment approach in Asia will include the Indo-Pacific region and its investment focus areas will include green finance, clean energy and infrastructure, and technology, the company said.

Indo-Pacific region includes Southeast Asian countries, South Asian countries including India, and others such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. 

“This new strategy will enable CDC to go even further and expand into new markets in South Asia and the Caribbean,” CDC said.

“The new strategy has a set of three strategic objectives to invest in support of productive development, sustainable development and inclusive development to meet the global opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, including the need for jobs and inclusive growth and the twin crises of climate change and natural resource depletion.”

The next strategy period begins on 1 January, 2022 and stretches till the end of 2026, it added.

“The aim is to invest £1.5 – £2 billion per annum over the period. Having invested in Asia for over 30 years, with a portfolio valued at US$2.2 billion (around Rs 16,400 crore), CDC’s new strategy builds on its evolving understanding of market needs across the region,” the statement said.

CDC recently announced the intention to invest up to US$1 billion in climate funding in India over the next five years. Its infrastructure investee partners include Ayana Renewable Power (Ayana), an Indian renewable energy platform, and Zephyr Power, a wind farm in Pakistan.

Last month, it also announced an investment of US$70 million into the Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), India’s first dedicated climate change fund. CDC launched the renewable energy platform in late 2017.

Over the last four years, CDC has invested over US$1 billion in climate finance across Africa and South Asia.

CDC has an existing US$2 billion portfolio in India. Globally, in the past five years CDC has invested close to £7 billion.

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