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World Bank - Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit: Finding New Ways to Mobilize Private Capital in Southeast Asia

April 5, 2018



ASEAN Finance Ministers will gather at the eighth World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit, organized with the Financial Times,  to discuss and share their priorities on the significant, renewed efforts underway to improve infrastructure in one of the world’s fastest-growing economic blocs. Southeast Asia’s vast infrastructure requirements provide a major opportunity to investors and developers. Innovative strategies are needed however to mobilise the private capital essential to bridge the financing gap. This year's Summit will explore progress by multilateral agencies in developing financial structures and solutions to incentivise investment, and the opportunities emerging from China's Belt and Road Initiative and other mega cross-border projects.  Join Ministers from across the ASEAN, leading international investors, financiers, developers and advisors, at this, the leading forum for public-private debate on infrastructure investment.

  • Finance Ministers from across the ASEAN with join investors, project developers, financiers at advisors at the eighth World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit to discuss progress on the significant, renewed efforts underway to improve infrastructure in one of the world’s fastest-growing economic blocs.

    New seaports, airports, roads, highways, telecommunication towers, water plants and much more must be built, and the old upgraded. Emerging Asia’s infrastructure will need an estimated US$26 trillion until 2030, including US$3.4 trillion of spending to alleviate climate change. That works out to more than US$1.7 trillion each year. Much of that will be required in ASEAN.

    For governments in the region, it is critical to find the necessary private finances to offset a shortfall in public funding. This has been made somewhat easier as yields fall in the developed world and investors turn towards emerging markets for opportunities. And in the current economic and monetary environment, infrastructure generally is an increasingly attractive asset class, especially for institutional investors looking for steady, long-term growth.

    However, the projects on offer and the financing structures need to be viable. Multilateral agencies like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, along with new emerging entities such as the New Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), are intensifying efforts to harness private money through funding packages and by helping governments identify the most appropriate areas for private-sector engagement. Increased lending from China and Japan is also helping to improve the financing landscape.

    A key investment priority for regional bodies like ASEAN, as well as global efforts like the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance, and special initiatives like China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is cross-border connectivity. Besides triggering the release of billions of dollars, such collaborative mega-initiatives will have a dramatic impact not only on the countries involved, but also on the financiers and developers drawn into their ambit.

    Bearing in mind uncertain geopolitics and global economic volatility, what are the best strategies to mobilise private capital in Southeast Asia? How are governance, transparency and bureaucratic processes evolving in tandem with ASEAN’s economic integration? To what extent is the increasing attention to climate change influencing investment? How can smaller-scale renewable energy projects, for instance, be coordinated with the bigger initiatives of the BRI?

    These issues and more will be discussed at the Summit by ASEAN finance ministers and other senior policy-makers, investors, developers and advisors. Organised by the World Bank Group, the Singapore Ministry of Finance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Financial Times, in association with the World Bank-ASEAN Infrastructure Finance Network, this event has become the leading international forum for public-private debate on infrastructure investment. 

  • 8:00am    Registration

    9:00am    Welcome remarks, Jyoti Shukla, Director, World Bank Singapore Hub for Infrastructure and Urban Development

    9:05am    Introduction, James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor, Associate Editor, Financial Times

    9:10am    Keynote Interview, Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, World Bank Group

    9:40am    Panel Discussion: Mobilising Private Capital -- New Approaches and Structures

    Given the large public funding gap for Southeast Asian infrastructure and the potential for expansion in private finance, efforts are intensifying to find new structures and instruments that reduce risk, boost incentives and generally promote private sector solutions. Multilateral entities are redoubling their efforts to ensure that commercial financing is mobilised to support government investment needs. The World Bank’s Maximising Finance for Development initiative, for example, uses a "Cascade Approach" to assist countries to locate private financing while earmarking public funds for areas less appropriate for private resources. IFC’s Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program bundles risk insurance into a package of infrastructure loans. Existing assets are increasingly being used to mobilise new sources of financing – for example in Indonesia, with the Paiton Energy refinancing and the securitisation of toll road revenues by Jasa Marga. This session looks at these and other innovative approaches to attract private capital, including ways to increase access to capital markets, the blending of different sources of funds, and other public-private trade-offs.

    Wee Seng Lim, Managing Director and Head of Project Finance, DBS

    Mark Rathbone, Partner, Capital Projects and Infrastructure, Asia Pacific, PwC

    Snezana Stoiljkovic, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group

    10:30am    Networking Break

    11:00am    A Closer Look: Case Study

    11:20am    Session Framer: Connectivity – Financing and Managing Interdependent Infrastructure Networks

    11:30am    Panel Discussion: Connectivity – Financing and Managing Interdependent Infrastructure Networks

    For regional bodies like ASEAN, leveraging connectivity among member-countries is essential to boost development, through enhanced flows of goods, services, investment, telecommunications and technology. Cross-border infrastructure initiatives, particularly around transport, have a major role to play in this effort. The newly minted Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance, scheduled to hold its first annual meeting in Paris in January 2018, is an affirmation of support for this concept. China’s Belt and Road Initiative supports mega cross-border infrastructure projects. Key questions remain, however. From where will the funding come? How best to manage an interdependent infrastructure initiative? And how will intra-regional challenges of monetary divergence, political resistance, environmental concerns, financial instability and differing compliance standards, among other issues, be resolved?

    Kian Min Low, Head of Business Development ASEAN and Australia, Sembcorp Industries

    12:20pm    Networking lunch

    1:20pm    Panel Discussion: Sustainable Infrastructure — Financing a New Energy Mix

    Greater improvements in the economics and efficiencies of alternative energy are attracting more diverse financiers and more corporate investments. This continued push for clean energy solutions is transforming the global energy mix and boosting the development of green bonds and other innovations in climate finance. But hurdles remain. For a start, renewable energy fosters projects can be small-scale and short-term, relative to the massive developments envisaged in the Belt and Road Initiative and other mega-schemes. Are they sufficiently large to attract investment? What are the best strategies to encourage large infrastructure asset owners to turn from fossil fuels to more sustainable solutions? Are Southeast Asia’s regulatory norms sufficient to monitor and manage a greener landscape? 

    Eng Seng Ang, Chief Investment Officer for Infrastructure, GIC

    Joachim von Amsberg, Vice President - Policy and Strategy, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    Rajeev Kannan, Executive Officer, Head of Investment Banking, Asia, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation 

    2:15pm    Networking Break

    2:30pm    Keynote Address

    His Excellency Swee Keat Heng, Minister for Finance, Singapore

    2:45pm    ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Roundtable

    Finance ministers of ASEAN members will discuss the region’s infrastructure requirements, highlighting their priorities in strengthening the project pineline and in harnessing capacity building support to attract private sector investors and developers.  The Ministers will also examine how governments, financers and multilateral agencies can work together to boost regional development in the current economic and geopolitical environment.

    4:40pm Closing Remarks and Summation: Next Steps, Action Points

    A summary of the day’s discussions and outline key take-aways and action points for all stakeholders, including concrete steps that could be taken to build capacity and mobilise financing in the year ahead. These action points will be reviewed at the next Summit in 2019

    Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, World Bank

    James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor, Associate Editor, Financial Times

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    Swee Keat Heng

    Minister for Finance, Singapore

    Joaquim Levy

    Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, World Bank Group

    Eng Seng Ang

    Chief Investment Officer for Infrastructure, GIC

    Joachim von Amsberg

    Vice President - Policy and Strategy, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    Rajeev Kannan

    Executive Officer, Head of Investment Banking Asia, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

    Wee Seng Lim

    Managing Director & Head of Project Finance, DBS

    Mark Rathbone

    Partner, Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Asia Pacific, PwC

    Victoria Kwakwa

    Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, World Bank Group

    Snezana Stoiljkovic

    Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group


  • Venue: InterContinental Hotel, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966
  • Date: April 5, 2018
  • Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • CONTACT: Dini Djalal