UNDP, Baoshang Bank to foster entrepreneurship and innovation among youthSep 29, 2016
September 29, 2016 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the China-based Baoshang Bank today announced a new partnership to fund and nurture entrepreneurship and innovation among youth in Asia and the Pacific.
Six out of every ten youth in the world currently live in Asia-Pacific, roughly numbering 665 million young people in 2015.
The partnership sees youth as a major driver for sustainable development in the region, and will seek to empower youth to overcome key barriers to participation in economic, civic and political life in their communities.
The announcement was made in Hong Kong where the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the terms of the collaboration. Mr. Haoliang Xu, UNDP’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific signed on behalf of the UN agency, while Mr. Zhenxi Li, Baoshang Bank Chairman signed on their behalf.
Identifying small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as a key source of employment for youth in Asia Pacific, the partnership will seek to create a regional financial platform to encourage SMEs to take on more responsibility and play a greater role in sustainable development.
The partnership will explore new ways to create opportunities for young people in Asia Pacific and beyond, including a regional event on innovation and entrepreneurship for youth.
"Young people today are more connected, more creative, more informed and more persuasive than any previous generation. UNDP has long been engaged in promoting opportunities for youth across all spheres of development, and we really hope to harness the transformative energy of youth through social entrepreneurship and innovation," said Mr Xu.
"We believe that Baoshang Bank is a partner that can help us empower youth in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals."
UNDP’s Asia Pacific Human Development Report for 2015 offers insights into the enormous pressure young people are faced with in the region, stemming from poor quality education, lack of decent jobs, inadequate vocational training, and alienation from civic and political life in their societies.
The report flagged the tremendous opportunity for human development that young people represent for the region today, recommending investments in their education, training and energy to reap the ‘demographic dividend’ that could well drive another Asian economic miracle.
“Baoshang Bank has been dedicated to supporting youth entrepreneurship and fighting poverty through innovative financial mechanisms,” said Zhenxi Li. "We are delighted to partner with UNDP, and we believe this partnership will bring our commitment to an international level."
Baoshang Bank Co., Ltd. was founded in 1998 and is based in Baotou, China. It provides commercial banking services to individuals and corporate clients in China, and was formerly known as Baotou City Commercial Bank before 2007. It is committed to bringing innovative solutions for inclusive finance and development.
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