High-quality infrastructure: competition is good but cooperation is better

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High-quality infrastructure: competition is good but cooperation is better

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From China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the EU’s Strategy for Connecting Europe and Asia, to similar plans set out by Japan, ASEAN and India, countries and institutions around the world have embarked on projects to increase infrastructure connectivity. When done well, infrastructure projects can be catalysts for growth and development. When done poorly, they can create problems that can persist for generations. This expert Policy & Practice Roundtable will be a chance for participants from across Europe and Asia to exchange perspectives on how to implement sustainable infrastructure projects, as well as what must be done to ensure long-term financing.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash – Josue Isai Ramos Figuero

Schedule

Schedule

Welcome and registration of participants
Session I ‒ Sustainable infrastructure Expand Session I ‒ Sustainable infrastructure

Infrastructure development is crucial to the attainment of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but quality matters. High-quality infrastructure has a spill-over effect that aids societies in striving for gender equality, sustainability and inclusive growth. Faster rail routes, broader energy networks and better access to vital resources are invaluable in advancing international development. But they are only part of the story. Long-term sustainability also requires linking in the digital revolution, ensuring that institutional frameworks are in place, and ensuring that the many projects being carried out are in sync.

  • Competing infrastructure connectivity projects and initiatives are proliferating across the world, creating confusion and needless tensions. Isn’t it time to negotiate a multilateral code of conduct to ensure all connectivity actors are on the same page?
  • What should be the key elements of such a code of conduct and why – and are there any lessons learned to be shared by countries which are engaged in such initiatives?
  • What role is there for digital infrastructure in achieving the SDGs, empowering women, tackling climate change and reducing the urban-rural divide?
Coffee break
Session II ‒ Financing infrastructure Expand Session II ‒ Financing infrastructure

Despite the obvious demand for high-quality infrastructure, financing remains insufficient. Assessments of global infrastructure investment needs vary. But Asia alone needs to invest $26tn from 2016 to 2030 or $1.7tn per year, to maintain growth momentum, eradicate poverty and respond to climate change, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). An array of multilateral, regional and national financial institutions, especially in China, are pumping money into connectivity blueprints across Eurasia and increasingly across Afro-Eurasia.

  • As the Multilateral Center for Development Finance (MCDF) moves closer to becoming operational, how can it promote high standards and become a go-to mechanism for connectivity dialogue?
  • How can the private sector be incentivised to invest in infrastructure development, and are there new forms of financial instruments that can be employed?
  • What is the best way to ensure fair competition and coordination among different connectivity actors?
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