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Deepening the Strategic Layout of Social Finance and Enhancing Sino-US Impact Investment Cooperation


“Without knowing the future, there is no judge of the present; without knowing the world, there is no understanding of China; without knowing the macroscopic, there is no understanding of the microscopic.” We are in an era of great changes. Despite so many challenges and uncertainties, as long as we have the courage to face these challenges, innovate constantly and make breakthroughs and break the shackles of traditional concepts, the sustainable development momentum of Chinese public welfare and charity will maintain.

At the invitation of American impact investment institutions including Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Ford Foundation and Calvert Foundation, the Social Finance and Innovation Center delegation led by Ma Weihua, Chairman of the Board of China Global Philanthropy Institute had a ten-day tour of observation in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco during July 10-20.

Under the current international situation where impact investment has become a consensus of the industry, Chairman Ma Weihua's visit is a social finance innovation journey which will create a precedent for the two countries’ cooperation in this area. The visit is aimed at deepening social finance all-round strategic layout, enhancing the two countries ‘pragmatic cooperation in the impact investment area, exploring a new path for the development of China’s public welfare education and the results of the visit will become powerful consensus for promoting the innovation and development of the public welfare industry.

During the four-day visit in Washington and New York, Chairman Ma Weihua had more than ten intensive bilateral and multilateral dialogues. He had communications and interactions with the creator of ecosystems, fund management companies, charitable assets owners, institutional investment managers, academic institutions and experts in law and policies. The exchanges have enhanced the understanding of impact investment ecosystems, including the design, implementation and evaluation methods of impact investment. At the same time, they have also deepened the understanding of relevant laws, regulations and policies and their applications. The exchanges cover a wide range of subjects, such as children, pension, education, disability, green finance and public welfare microfinance.

Chairman Ma Weihua made the following remarks at an exchange meeting organized by RPA.

The most important purpose of our visit is to study the development direction of the industry and the Institute. From my professional experience as a banker I know the importance of demand research. The same is true for education institutes. To maintain the vitality of an institute, it is necessary to understand what kind of talents the institute needs and what kind of talents should be trained for the society. Although there are many training institutions for developing traditional public welfare professionals in China, few can really represent the future trend. Whether you are involved in an enterprise, a bank or an education institute, you should focus on the future and trends of the whole world rather than the immediate hot spots.

The concept of social impact investment put forward by RPA has been recognized by all countries through the Group of Eight and a global inclusive development consensus has been reached. The development of human society and the development of the world economy rely on the continuous expansion of inclusive economy and sustained and robust inclusive growth. The basic meaning of inclusive development is to pursue coordinated and sustainable development of economy and the society and share the fruits of development fairly and equitably. Development is not only reflected in the growth of material, but also in the progress of social ethics and civilization.

It has been proved that it is feasible to achieve this vision through the combination of commercial institutions and public welfare institutions. A few years ago, we introduced the ideas of public welfare into business and now we are trying to introduce the business models into public welfare. We have seen a long-term trend since impact investment was put forward ten years ago, that is, in the future public welfare and business may be integrated with each other.

Therefore, it is the mission of the times and the demand of the society to cultivate interdisciplinary talents, and it is also our orientation of education. However, in order to achieve this goal, we still have a lot of work to do. We are determined to build the Institute into an influential school for developing impact investment talents. I believe if the Institute succeeds, it will bring a bright future for impact investment in China.


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