ADB and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore have agreed to launch a public-private partnership initiative to catalyse infrastructure development within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEAN’s infrastructure needs are estimated at U$60bn per year over the next decade.
The initiative will see ADB work with Singapore agencies, led by IE Singapore, to enhance private sector participation and investments in regional PPP projects. The proposal is to fund the initiative with US$9m (£6m) over three years. This amount is jointly committed by ADB and Singapore government agencies, led by IE Singapore.
This is one of the first concrete initiatives put in place following a memorandum of understanding signed between the government of Singapore and ADB last year to strengthen cooperation for sustainable growth in the region.
It aims to help address the region’s pressing infrastructure development needs, building towards the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.
“Despite strong growth in the region, Southeast Asia’s infrastructure coverage lags behind the Asian average. The needs are well beyond the funding capacities and fiscal resources of governments and multilateral development banks,” said ADB director general of the Southeast Asia department Kunio Senga. “It is crucial to involve the private sector in infrastructure financing if ASEAN is to continue building and growing.
“Singapore-based companies have an established track record implementing PPP projects in Singapore and overseas. Singapore also has a strong financial sector with comprehensive capabilities to support infrastructure financing. The initiative strengthens the involvement of private sector investors in infrastructure projects in the region and enables them to share their expertise with host countries.” said Chua.