Infrastructure Asia deepens partnership with MDBs and regional governments in Asia infrastructure space
At the inaugural Asia Infrastructure Forum today, Infrastructure Asia cemented five partnerships to deepen collaborations
1. Demand for infrastructure know-how is at an all-time high with developing Asia requiring US$26 trillion of infrastructure investments through 2030 . To support the growing regional infrastructure needs, which includes capacity building and financing, Infrastructure Asia (IA), set up by Enterprise Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, continues to build partnerships with multilateral development banks (MDBs) and regional governments.
2. At the inaugural Asia Infrastructure Forum (AIF) today, IA cemented five partnerships to deepen collaborations with i) MDBs, ii) public sector agencies, and iii) private sector companies. Guest of honour for AIF, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Education and Second Minister for Finance, Ms Indranee Rajah, witnessed the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).
3. Mr Seth Tan, Executive Director, IA, said, “Infrastructure Asia is deepening our work with stakeholders across the infrastructure ecosystem to match the demand and supply in Asia’s infrastructure developments. Together with partners including investors, financiers, developers, governments, commercial and multilateral development banks, we work closely with the demand and supply sides to match the needs of the local markets with suitable solutions in the Singapore-based ecosystem. Our partnerships sealed today will support the region’s economic and social growth through sustainable and innovative infrastructure projects."
Partnership with MDBs
4.Building on our close relationship, IA will work with the World Bank Group on a capacity-building programme, ‘Growing Infrastructure – Enabling & Structuring for Private Sector Participation in Finance and Innovation’. Specially curated for regional government officials, this programme provides a platform for networking and learning opportunities. It will build up regional capabilities in the preparation of infrastructure projects for private sector involvement and sourcing for international private sector financing and innovation.
5. Jyoti Shukla, Director of the World Bank Infrastructure and Urban Development Hub in Singapore, said, “The rapid pace of development and climate change makes it important that resilience be integrated into all infrastructure investments. Our estimates show that on average every US$1 invested in augmenting infrastructure resilience yields US$4 in benefits. The World Bank Group is honoured to draw on Singapore’s deep experience and expertise for the benefit for the broader Asian community.
6. IA will also work with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to promote innovative finance solutions for sustainable infrastructure projects in the ASEAN region. It will help municipal governments and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) improve access to financing for such projects.
Partnerships with regional public sector agencies
7.IA exchanged three MOUs to foster partnerships with regional government agencies:
- An MOU with the Cambodia Ministry of Economy and Finance to collaborate on the preparation and development of the Sewage and Waste Water Treatment Project in Sihanoukville. This will comprise activities for the development of the project, including preliminary technical, financial and risk analyses. Singapore-based professional services will be engaged to complete this risk assessment.
- An MOU with PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero) (PT SMI) to collaborate on public-private partnership (PPP) capacity building aimed at enhancing project bankability. IA will establish a platform for knowledge sharing to help accelerate the preparation of Indonesian government infrastructure projects, enabling these projects to secure private financing from international banks and equity investors based in Singapore more quickly.
- An MOU with the Philippines’ PPP Center to assist Local Implementing Agencies in the Philippines with the development or implementation of their PPP projects. IA will work with Singapore-based infrastructure players to share knowledge on international practices for the PPP Center’s capacity building and policy formulation activities, including the development of PPP guidelines for areas such as healthcare, water supply and waste management.
Partnerships with the private sector
8. One way IA has identified to accelerate the flow of infrastructure deals is to introduce, where feasible, standardised clauses in project finance loans. This would shorten preparation time and bring transparency into the processes, in turn helping parties to achieve financial close faster. IA will work with established legal service providers based in Singapore to standardise a substantial portion of the project finance loan documents. This will contribute towards catalysing a secondary market for infrastructure debt.
Growing focus on sustainability
9. IA continues to focus on addressing the growing need for sustainable infrastructure projects as sustainability rises in importance as a consideration among governments, corporates, multilaterals, banks and non-banking financial institutions. Seth Tan added, “We see demand in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where there are projects seeking solutions for waste management, water and sanitation and healthcare, particularly at the provincial and local government level. Singapore-based firms are able to address this demand, especially the sustainability aspects. A number of law firms based here offer environmental, governance and social advisory services, including advice on sustainable finance. IA will be bringing together Singapore-based firms with newer solutions and approaches to address this growing interest.” Strong attendance at inaugural AIF
10. Themed ‘Partnerships for the future: Reimagining Infrastructure’, the two-day forum on 2 & 3 October is organised by IA, together with Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore, with the World Bank Group as the strategic partner. It was attended by over 800 Singaporean and regional leaders in the public and private sectors, including policymakers, investors and infrastructure companies, and provided a platform for in-depth discussions on opportunities and challenges of smart and sustainable infrastructure in Asia. Ministers and Vice Ministers from Bangladesh and Laos graced the event and participated in the ‘Leaders’ Panel’ where they discussed ways to build capacity in markets with infrastructure needs, and the role that regional blocs such as ASEAN play in facilitating intra-regional cooperation.
11. An ‘Infrastructure Market Place’ will take place tomorrow, where senior representatives from foreign governments, infrastructure, financing and business sectors will share regional project pipelines, latest infrastructure technology and solutions and discuss possible funding options in specially curated sessions.
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Ms Foo Xiao Xuan
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Infrastructure Asia (IA) aims to support Asia’s social and economic growth through infrastructure development. IA was established by Enterprise Singapore and Monetary Authority of Singapore to support infrastructure financing and development in the region. It does so through early project scoping, best practice sharing and brokering, harnessing Singapore’s best-in-class infrastructure ecosystem (international developers, engineering and professional services, along with financial institutions and multilateral development entities). It also works with global players in the regional infrastructure ecosystem and leverages the collective capabilities and networks of various government agencies to catalyse more trade and investments into infrastructure in the region.