Investment in infrastructure is significant to the future growth of APEC economies, said Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria.
Talking with Vietnam News Agency reporters on the sidelines of the APEC 2017 Finance Ministers’ Meeting which is underway in the central province of Quang Nam, the OECD Secretary-General stressed that infrastructure plays an important role in improving productivity and competitiveness of all economies in the Asia-Pacific.
He said: “Infrastructure is not only the hard one, it means not only bridges and highways, ports and airports, but it also includes soft infrastructure including education and skills. And how to mobilise capital for hard infrastructure is as important as for the soft one”.
Gurria underlined the importance of financial cooperation to promote infrastructure in the region and APEC economies should put forth experience exchange in how to mobilise capital for infrastructure projects.
“Financing is a tool and leverage for infrastructure development, thus it is clearly important to lure investors to infrastructure projects”, he stated.
Convincing enterprises to land long-term investment in infrastructure means showing them the projects’ potential, and that they will give the investors higher yield than they put money in the bank, he said, adding that investors are all interested in low interest rates.
Long-term investment in infrastructure is one of the four priorities initiated by Vietnam in the APEC 2017. The focus is the mobilisation of long-term capital from the private sector for infrastructure projects, especially protection of interests and risk mitigation for private investors in public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
Experience of international organisations and APEC member economies in handling PPP projects, especially risk sharing between the State and private investors was one of the discussion topics at the Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting (FCBDM), the Senior Finance Officials Meeting (SFOM) and the Workshop on Long-term Investment in Infrastructure (May 2017). APEC Senior Finance Officials had discussions with international organizations on effective instruments for project management and concerted training activities for project managers in APEC member economies.
Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.