World leaders pledge more cooperation to improve global infrastructure investment

GMT 01:56 2016 Sunday ,17 April

Arab Today, arab today World leaders pledge more cooperation to improve global infrastructure investment

Ban Ki-moon
Washington - XINHUA

Leaders of the United Nations, G20 and multilateral development banks (MDBs) on Saturday pledged to cooperate more with each other and to leverage more private resources in promoting global infrastructure investment and implementation.

In 2015, MDBs, World Bank and the United Nations have made "unprecedented collaborations" in promoting global infrastructure investment and implementation, said UN chief Ban Ki-moon at the Global Infrastructure Forum 2016.

"I trusted that we will continue and strengthen this close cooperation in the future," Ban said.

While noting closer cooperation among MDBs in the past few years, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said there is a huge global infrastructure gap that requires strengthened cooperation and the mobilization of more private resources.

More than one billion people in the world now live without access to the electricity, said Kim.

"Estimates suggest that to close this energy gap sustainably, emerging market and developing economies need to increase annual sector spending to 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars by 2035, an increase of 75 percent over today's investment," said Kim.

"Data also suggest we are not fully engaging our critical sources of support for tackling these challenges, the private sector."

Kim noted that private commitments to infrastructure projects in emerging economies were only 83 billion dollars last year, down from the 112 billion dollars in 2014 and well below the past five-year average of 124 billion dollars.

"We have to reverse this trend," said Kim. "During today's discussion I'd like to hear your ideas on how multilateral development banks and our partners can leverage more public and private investments and support new infrastructure in developing countries."

"At this G20 meeting, G20 members have reached the consensus that we need to encourage MDBs to invest more infrastructure," said Lou Jiwei, China's finance minister and chair of 2016 G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting.

"They are also asking MDBs to take joint actions to formulate quantitative ambition for quality projects, enhance the corporation between new and existing MDBs, mobilize resources from private sectors and to enhance co-financing among MDBs as well as to canalize funds also from development partners,"said Lou.

As a new MDB established in December 2015, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed its first co-financing framework agreement with World Bank on Wednesday, paving the way for their cooperation on joint projects this year.

"We've just signed an agreement with President Kim about cooperation between AIIB and World Bank and the same will be done with ADB (Asian Development Bank), EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and other institutions," said Jin Liqun, president of the AIIB.

"Because we all understand without combined concerted effort it is very hard for us to meet the need of Asian development and other regions."

Jin also emphasized the importance of attracting more private resources to fulfill world infrastructure need, saying "the most combined resources of all of these MDBS can only meet approximately 10 percent of 1.5 trillion dollars (global infrastructure need) every year. That's why we need to work together and to mobilize the private sector resources."

Global Infrastructure Forum 2016 is the first year of this forum which is expected to hold annually. It is an outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

Partner with the United Nations, the forum was established by 9 MDBS including the World Bank Group, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank, as well as development partners and representatives of the G20, G24, and G77, to enhance multilateral collaborative mechanisms to improve infrastructure delivery globally.

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