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​YANGON, 27 November 2018 – Tha Bar Wa Project and Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation signed MoUs with four leading banks of Myanmar to catalyse green finance for sustainable industrial production. The signing ceremony took place at Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce (UMFCCI).

The MoUs formalise technical assistance to banks to increase green SME loans and financial products for sustainable industrial production over the next three years. The MoUs also aim to facilitate business matchmaking between banks and SMEs for green loans.

Tha Bar Wa project will provide technical support to build up the banks’ capacity to serve the investment needs of the SMEs through cooperation among World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association (MFPEA) and Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) under the SWITCH-Asia Programme funded by the European Union (EU).

Johann Hesse, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Myanmar said, “The European Union launched the SWITCH-Asia Programme to help interested consumers, businesses and supporting associations in the Asia-Pacific switch to a more sustainable paradigm. Myanmar's natural resources are still relatively intact, but increasingly threatened by plastic pollution and contamination of water bodies. We are proud to support the development of green finance in Myanmar to offer local SMEs in the F&B industry the resources needed for cleaner production and the long-term preservation of the environment.
Through intensive advice, the banks will learn to adapt their financial products and credit lending processes to respond to the requirements of sustainable industrial production. Sustainable industrial production encompass processes and technologies such as waste water treatment, energy efficient boilers, lighting and heating as well as environmentally friendly air-conditioning and refrigeration.

Gaurav Gupta, Tha Bar Wa Project Manager (interim) said, “We are seeing more and more factory owners interested in adopting green technologies such as waste water treatment, energy efficiency and renewable energy but access to affordable loan designed for such technologies remain a key bottleneck”.

One of the central pillars of Tha Bar Wa Project is to support the development of green finance in Myanmar. Tha Bar Wa will cooperate with four Myanmar banks - Ayeyarwaddy Farmers Development Bank, Co-operative Bank, MAB and Myanmar Citizens Bank.

Ilan Wolkov, SBFIC Green Finance expert said, “Strengthening local banks in green finance is an essential factor in the green transformation of the Food & Beverage industry – creating a win - win situation benefiting the financial industry, SMEs, the economy and ultimately the population of Myanmar”.

Tha Bar Wa will also work closely with other Green Finance initiatives such as SMART Myanmar to ensure coordination and synergies, with the ultimate objective to strengthen green finance ecosystem in Myanmar. The first Green Credit is expected to be financed towards the end of 2018.

For further information on the project or cleaner production, please contact May Zaw Htet, Tha Bar Wa Project Officer, at mayzaw.htet@wwfgreatermekong.org or +95 9970954587

About Tha Bar Wa
The name “Tha Bar Wa” expresses a strong commitment to nature and the natural resources utilised by industries in order to operate. It signifies commitment to adopting operating processes whereby impact to the environment is minimised. The project was launched in May 2018 as a partnership between World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association (MFPEA) and Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC), and promotes cleaner production in the food and beverage (F&B) industry in Myanmar. Tha Bar Wa is a four-year project funded by the European Union (EU) under the SWITCH-Asia Programme.

About WWF
WWF is one of the largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF Myanmar was established in 2014 and is working to conserve the country’s biodiversity and build a sustainable future for people and wildlife. To learn more about WWF activities, please visit us at www.wwf.org.mm.

Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) provides support to financial institutions that sustainably foster economic and social development at the local, regional or national level through needs-oriented banking services. By strengthening local and regional financial structures, SBFIC not only generates development opportunities for wide sections of the population and local companies, but ultimately also helps to create jobs and income. This complies with the approach and objectives of Germany's Sparkassen (Savings Banks). It also has a stabilising effect on the respective financial sector and, as a result, on the given country's economic development. In recent times Germany's Sparkassen (Savings Banks) as the largest collective of financial institutions in Germany has been crucial in the greening of the German economy at all levels – with proactive green financing solutions and energetic promotions of these to all layers of German society and to all types of institutions and companies. It is these key success factors that SBFIC communicates to its partners through its project work.