Dutch Entrepreneurial Bank visits ISET, discusses activities & the environment
Wednesday, 02 October, 2019

On October 2nd, ISET was visited by representatives of FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Bank, who came to talk about the Bank’s activities and its investments in Georgia. Mr. Jan-Willem Hoek, Investment Officer, and Ms. Naomi Campbell, Environmental & Social Officer, gave a presentation entitled ‘Doing Makes The Difference’, and explained the Bank’s commitment to global development and humanitarian outcomes.

In Georgia, FMO has partnered with TBC Bank to finance young entrepreneurs running micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as retail customers requiring a mortgage. FMO’s own financing is split between the Netherlands’ major banks and the Dutch Government; along with its partners in TBC, the Bank cooperates closely with the Dutch Embassy in Georgia, and so Her Excellency Loes Lammerts, the Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Netherlands, also attended.

After outlining the Bank’s international activities – specifically concerning the notion that even the smallest change that brings about positive results is worthwhile – the presentation shifted to the environment, an issue which is of the utmost importance to FMO. Indeed, the Bank is pursuing environmentally-friendly policies to the extent that 36% of its total investment volume was in ‘green’ investments, a figure of 940 million euros. This is part of the general theme of shifting parameters of international financial concerns and risks: a dramatic change over the last ten years has seen more conventional monetary worries replaced by threats to the environment or the growing danger of cyberattacks.

The presentation was followed by a discussion which saw a number of opinions raised, including by some who were not convinced by the urgency of the current danger to the world’s environment, despite its recent prominent coverage in the international media. The view was expressed that countries such as Georgia are not able to consider the environment as an issue at this time since the country is already struggling to develop in other areas which have traditionally been considered more important. However, the FMO representatives stated that environmental investments can improve economies and living standards and that issues such as politics, the economy, and the environment are no longer separate entities.

ISET would like to thank the representatives from FMO, the Dutch Embassy, and TBC Bank for taking the time to give such an enlightening, lively, and entertaining presentation.