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Singapore, US to cooperate on infrastructure finance and market building

[SINGAPORE] Singapore and the United States have inked a pact to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure finance and debt market development for infrastructure financing.

The agreement was signed in Washington, DC, on Wednesday by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education Indranee Rajah and US Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich.

The signing took place on the sidelines of the G-20 Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors' Meeting and annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.

A Ministry of Finance (MOF) statement said the agreement builds on the broader cooperation between the two countries, to facilitate technical exchanges and information sharing, support infrastructure development in South-east Asia and promote private-sector investments.

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These may include crowding in institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies, and developing debt markets for infrastructure investments.

The new pact will be implemented by agencies such as the MOF, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Ms Indranee is on a six-day visit to Chile and the US that ends on Saturday. She is accompanied by officials from MOF, MAS, Enterprise Singapore, and Infrastructure Asia.

The announcement on Thursday follows five other pacts Singapore signed during the Asia Infrastructure Forum held in the first week of October.

These included agreements with Cambodia's Ministry of Economy and Finance on sewage and waste water treatment, with Indonesia's Sarana Multi Infrastruktur on public-private partnership (PPP) capacity building, and with the Philippines PPP Centre to develop and implement projects.

Also exchanged were collaboration agreements with the World Bank Group on regional capacity building, and the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development on third-country projects in smart infrastructure.

The Global Infrastructure Hub has estimated that developing Asia requires US$51 trillion in infrastructure investment through 2040 to maintain its current growth momentum.

THE STRAITS TIMES