During November 2016 SMART Myanmar’s implementing partner ADFIAP (The Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific) conducted their final week of training for ‘green bankers’. This was the conclusion of a 3-week training program for a dedicated selection of bankers from nearly every locally owned bank in Myanmar.
SMART Myanmar managed to provide this green banker training program to managers and loan officers from 28 banks, with a total of 39 bankers participating in the program. The instruction was designed in a classroom format, but also included interactive participatory sections wherein participants had to present cases based on practical scenarios. As a final test, training participants were various case studies and asked to design project proposals. This was an extremely useful practice for them to learn how to appraise green loans, and is also relevant for any project-based loan appraisal.
In Myanmar most banks rely on collateral-based lending and this kind of project-based lending structure is still fairly new. As such, the financial experts from ADFIAP were pleased to educate local bank staff on the advantages of risk evaluation and project-based lending.
Now that the first year of SMART’s “Green Finance Training Program” has concluded its first year, those certified as “Green Bankers” are envisioned to become champions for green finance within their respective banks. During 2017 ADFIAP will conduct further training with local SMEs on applying for loans. This will be followed by a matchmaking pilot, during which a small selection of companies with suitable green projects will be presented to some of the graduates of the green banking program. Both sides will receive technical advisory support from ADFIAP on the merits of applying for and granting loans based on the specific situations.
SMART Myanmar’s green finance initiative is designed to give SMEs access to finance from banks to fund green investments. The training interventions address the gaps in technical, financial and environmental capacities of loan officers to confidently lend to green projects under a risk-mitigated environment, which is identified as one of the major deterrents in green project financing.