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Infrastructure Governance Round Table - Getting Infrastructure Right: A Call To Action

"Learn how the quality of public investment governance is significantly linked to positive growth outcomes."

Strategic infrastructure delivery that is on time, within budget, and provided in a manner commanding the confidence of all stakeholders, including markets and civil society, is essential to tackling the widening infrastructure gap. Poor public-sector capacity and...view more

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Opening Remarks 1: Dr. Martin Rama, Senior Economic Adviser of the World Bank, South Asia, opens the Infrastructure Governance Roundtable by describing growth within the developing Asian region as holding great promise and being a pillar for the world- given the region’s significant improvement in human development indicators over a brief time.

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Opening Remarks 2: Continuing opening remarks, VP Diwakar Gupta highlights the fiscal and institutional challenges to infrastructure development, while emphasizing the need for innovation and collaboration in improving infrastructure governance.

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Introductions: Hoon Sahib Soh, Special Representative of the World Bank Group (WBG) Korea Office, introduces the backgrounds and specialization of each of the panelists present. Preliminary discussions commence regarding delivering quality infrastructure sustainably and efficiently.

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Localization, Safeguard Standards and Balancing Quality with Costs: Panelists discuss whether infrastructure-building projects are sufficiently taking local conditions into account during operations. Other topics discussed include balancing high project quality with high costs, and the project implications of safeguard standards from international development finance institutions.

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10 Dimensions of Infrastructure Governance: Panelists all agree that infrastructure governance is not something that is just limited to the public sector, or government decision-making. Instead, infrastructure governance additionally entails getting many other actors- including ministries of finance, the investor community, and the private sector- involved and informed.

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Q & A: When project teams lack sufficient enabling environments- or local contexts with a rule of law, control of corruption, and good strategic alignment and vision- then what may they do to support good infrastructure investments? Further, what is the role of DFIs in promoting better project capacity and preparation, while reducing project costs? 

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China - A Case Study on Addressing 2 Key Issues: Panelists describe the difficulty of allocating risk between the public and private sector when revenue streams are uncertain. Mentioned in tandem are the challenges government officials undergo in making decisions that they may be accountable for when it is difficult to predict how cost structures and markets will change.

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Closing Remarks and Lessons Learnt: Panelists offer closing remarks regarding how the main impediment to investment is not a lack of financing, but rather a lack of good governance. Also discussed are how to draw best practices and a general framework of lessons learned from projects within a multitude of local contexts significantly different from one another.

About the Presenters

Hoon Sahib Soh

Special Representative of the World Bank Group (WBG) Korea Office

Mr. Soh’s priorities are to oversee the expansion of the Korea office and strengthen the partnership between WBG and Korean public and private stakeholders, to leverage and disseminate Korea’s development experience.

Morag Baird

Director, Leading Practices, GIH, Australia

Morag Baird is a senior infrastructure adviser with over 25 years of experience working on infrastructure issues, particularly in developing economies. She has conducted work based in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh and Central Asia.

Edwin Lau

Head, Budgeting and Public Expenditures, OECD, France

Edwin Lau is the Head of the OECD Division for Budgeting and Public Expenditure, which is a lead contributor to the OECD Infrastructure Project through its work on Infrastructure Governance, PPPs, capital budgeting, balance sheet management, and performance and value for money assessments.

Martin Rama

Senior Economic Advisor, South Asia, World Bank

Martin Rama is the Chief Economist for the South Asia region of the World Bank, based in Delhi, India. His main priorities are to promote debate on difficult policy issues in the region, to lead the preparation of major reports on regional issues, and to oversee the overall quality of the Bank’s analytical work in the region.

Diwakar Gupta

Vice President, Private Sector and PPPs, ADB, Philippines

Diwakar Gupta is the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Vice President for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships. He oversees ADB's assistance to private sector projects with a clear development impact but limited access to capital. He is also responsible for building and maintaining ADB’s public-private partnership operations.

Taek-Won Seo

Executive Vice President, KIND, Korea

Taek-Won Seo is Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Strategy and Planning Division. Previously, he served as CEO of JSC Nenskra Hydro in the Republic of Georgia, a project company of Korean Water Resources Corporation (K-Water).

Arash Alavi

Managing Director, Macquarie, Hong Kong

Arash Alavi has been with Macquarie Capital for over 14 years where he worked in Australia, the Middle East and Asia, focussing on infrastructure and renewable energy. He has led transactions in various sectors in these regions, including food waste treatment, waste to energy, district cooling, wastewater and PPPs.

Martin Raiser

Country Director for China and Mongolia, and Director for Korea

Martin Raiser is the World Bank’s new Country Director for China and Mongolia, and Director for Korea. Mr. Raiser is leading a team that is managing one of the World Bank’s largest loan portfolios and directs an extensive analytical and advisory program with China and Mongolia, and a growing knowledge partnership with Korea.