EXPERTS on infrastructure and investment from all G20 countries are gathering in Singapore this week to attend a four-day series of meetings hosted by the Singapore Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Over 200 participants from the public sector, private sector, and international organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are attending.
The G20/OECD Singapore High-Level Roundtable will discuss ways to close the infrastructure financing gap, in particular, by encouraging more private sector investment.
"This is a critical issue for Asia. By 2025, infrastructure needs in Asia are expected to reach US$5.36 trillion annually, and public fiscal resources are not sufficient to meet this demand. Private investments are thus critical in filling the infrastructure gap," said MOF on Thursday.
"Apart from conventional bank financing, there is an estimated US$50 trillion worth of assets held by institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies. Today, only 0.8 per cent of these assets are allocated to infrastructure."
To be sure, liquidity and interest in infrastructure are not lacking, said Yee Ping Yi, MOF deputy secretary. What is lacking is a multi-stakeholder approach to promote conducive investment and regulatory environments, and to ensure well-structured bankable projects that are attractive to private investment, he said.
"This week's industry networking dinner and High-Level Roundtable play an important role by bringing these stakeholders together and allowing for a useful exchange of innovative ideas", says Mr Yee, who is the opening speaker at the roundtable.
Meetings held earlier this week include a G20 Working Group meeting on investment and infrastructure, as well as an inaugural G20-World Bank Group Singapore workshop on project prioritisation and preparation.
The outcomes from this week's meetings will guide discussion by national leaders at the G20 Summit this November 2015.
Singapore will attend the summit in Antalya, Turkey. This is the fifth year Singapore has been invited to the summit.