Infrastructure Critical for Growth, Competitiveness, Job Creation and Poverty Alleviation

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The FINANCIAL — Mobilizing private sector investment in high-quality, sustainable infrastructure is crucial to ensuring access to markets and basic services that will boost trade and productivity, provide jobs, and improve people’s lives.

Partnerships are critical in meeting these objectives, said speakers at the World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit, organized by the World Bank Group, the Singapore Ministry of Finance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Financial Times, in association with the World Bank-ASEAN Infrastructure Finance Network. In its sixth year, the Summit has become the leading international forum for public-private debate on infrastructure investment and viable financing structures, according to the World Bank.

Other speakers included Philippines Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, World Bank Group Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer Bertrand Badré and India Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu.

More infrastructure investment is urgently needed. Around the world, more than 1.1 billion people live without reliable electricity and 660 million people lack access to safe drinking water. At least one-third of rural communities have limited road access. Poor infrastructure hurts the competitiveness of communities, countries, businesses, and impedes economic growth.

“Infrastructure investment is part of the solution to the slowing economy, and it is attractive to investors compared to corporate risk. But investors need the right tools and the right projects. With our growing network of partners, the World Bank Group through the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) can help prepare the project pipelines and help build the ecosystem for long-term infrastructure investment. Now is the time to start,” said Bertrand Badré, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, World Bank Group.

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Major initiatives to boost liquidity―led by China, Japan and several multilateral organizations―are set to provide a substantial ramp-up in development. New infrastructure funds are also being launched on a regular basis, signaling that institutional investors are looking at infrastructure as an asset class.

This year’s Summit, entitled ‘Mobilizing Private Capital in a Promising but Challenging Environment’, gathered leading policymakers, institutional investors, investment banks, private equity firms, advisors and infrastructure developers. They discussed the latest global initiatives to boost capital, the approach of private investors, the opportunities and obstacles that exist on the ground in Asian emerging economies, and the most effective strategies to accelerate progress in the current volatile economic environment. 

Chaired by James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor and Associate Editor of the Financial Times, the Summit featured on-stage interviews and exclusive panels featuring policymakers and leading minds in private finance. An impressive line-up of speakers included:

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Government of Singapore

Bertrand Badré, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, World Bank Group

Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways, Government of India

Cesar Purisima, Finance Secretary, Government of the Philippines

Hideo Naito, Managing Executive Officer, Global Head of Infrastructure and Environment Finance Group, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

Zhou Yuan, Chief Strategy Officer, China Investment Corporation

Dato’ Charon Wardini Mokhzani, Executive Director, Khazanah Nasional and Managing Director, Khazanah Research Institute

Danny Leipziger, Professor of International Business and International Affairs, George Washington University, and Managing Director, The Growth Dialogue

John McCarthy, Global Head of Infrastructure, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

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Leslie Teo, Chief Economist and Director, Economics and Investment Strategy Department, GIC

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, Vice President Investment Operations, IFC

Tony Adams, CIO, Infrastructure, Eastspring Investments

Andrew Davison, Senior Vice President, Infrastructure Finance Group, Moody’s Investors Service

Jérôme Haegeli, Head of Investment Strategy, Swiss Re

Noburo Kato, Director, General Manager and Head, Investment Banking Department Asia, SMBC

Arturo Recio, Global Head of Transport, Services and Infrastructure, HSBC

Bernard Sheahan, Director, Global Infrastructure and Natural Resources, IFC

Mohammad Hossain, Director General, Power Cell, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Government of Bangladesh

Syed Afsor Uddin, CEO, Public-Private Partnership Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of Bangladesh

Nauman Ahmad, Senior Vice President, Group Business Development & Commercial, Sembcorp Industries

Kevin Lu, CEO, Partners Group, Singapore

James Cameron, Head of Project and Export Finance, Asia Pacific, HSBC

Andrew Digges, Partner, Ashurst

Grant Dooley, Executive Director, Head of Asia, Hastings Funds Management

Christopher Heathcote, CEO, Global Infrastructure Hub

Thomas Jacquot, Senior Director, Corporate & Government Ratings, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services

Jordan Schwartz, Head Global Infrastructure Facility, World Bank Group

Terry Fanous, Managing Director, Public, Project & Infrastructure Finance, Moody’s Investors Service

Patrick Kong, Chief Financial Officer, Keppel Infrastructure

Richard Lino, President Director, PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) II

Kiyoshi Nishimura, CEO, Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF)

Karin Finkelston, Vice President and Operating Officer, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)


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