World Economic Forum and OECD to launch Asean regional hub

PHNOM PENH (Asia News Network) - The Sustainable Development Investment Partnership is to establish an Asean regional hub to advance blended finance for sustainable infrastructure investment in the region.

The Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP), a collaborative initiative managed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum, is set to establish an Asean Hub to advance blended finance for sustainable infrastructure.

The SDIP brings together a community of 35 governments, banks, pension funds and philanthropic organisations committed to mobilising US$100 billion worth of projects supporting sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure.
 
With Asia constituting approximately 80 per cent of the infrastructure funding gap, and the urgent need to increase the role of the private sector in financing the US$2.5 trillion required annually to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, a dedicated SDIP Asean Hub is timely.
 
Asean is the second SDIP regional hub to be established since the successful launch of the Africa Hub in summer 2016. With the SDIP initiative focused on practical and actionable financing of projects, the hub portfolio is designed to enable local actors to develop and deliver tailored work programmes that address financing challenges from a regional perspective. This local perspective is vital to strengthen project pipelines, mobilize capital for infrastructure projects and contribute to bridging local capacity.
 
The Kingdom of Cambodia, Standard Chartered Bank, Eastspring Investments, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) are among the institutions that will be involved in the SDIP Asean Hub.

Initially, the hub will focus on assessing Project Preparation Facilities and infrastructure initiatives across the Asean region. This will include country-level engagements in 2017 in Cambodia and elsewhere in the region to assess project pipelines and provide supporting tools to bridge capacity and expertise constraints at local level.
 
“The Kingdom of Cambodia is proud to be the first member of SDIP from Asean and to play a critical role in the hub to share and learn best practices from leading global and regional financial institutions and governments. It will help to pave ways for more sizeable projects and mobilize capital for critical infrastructure which aims to improve the competitiveness for sustaining the country’s long-term growth”, said Vongsey Vissoth, Vice-Chairman of the Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC) and Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Kingdom of Cambodia
 
Karby Leggett, Head of Public Sector, Asia, at Standard Chartered Bank, a member of the SDIP steering group, said: "At Standard Chartered we believe that blended finance is a critical element to unblock investments in sustainable infrastructure. SDIP is a dynamic platform that allows us to see and consider infrastructure investments that will have a strong impact on development but not normally be perceived as bankable projects."
 
With the establishment of the SDIP Asean Hub, the Asia-based Eastspring Investments, with US$146 billion in assets under management, has formally announced it will be joining SDIP to become its 35th member institution. “Eastspring Investments is pleased to become a member of the SDIP. Eastspring views the SDIP as an effective platform to bring the private and public sector together to encourage and improve the infrastructure investment opportunities for the private sector in emerging and frontier markets, including through blended finance," said Donald Kanak, Chairman of Eastspring Investments.
 
Members of the SDIP as of 12 May 2017: Agence Française de Développement (AFD); African Development Bank (AfDB); Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Cambodia; Canada; Citigroup; Côte d’Ivoire; Denmark; Deutsche Bank; Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA); East Capital; Eastspring Investments; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); European Investment Bank (EIB); Guggenheim Partners LLC; FMO; Senegalese Sovereign Fund for Strategic Investments (FONSIS); HSBC; Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); International Development Corporation (IDC); International Finance Corporation (IFC); Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU); Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Meridiam Infrastructure; Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); The Netherlands; Norway; PensionDanmark; Pensionskassernes Administration (PKA); Standard Chartered; Storebrand; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC); Sweden; United Kingdom; and the United States of America.

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