Level Policy Dialogue on Regional Cooperation for Infrastructure
Development and Financing in
21-22 March 2007
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India
The United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) is
pleased to announce the “High-level Policy Dialogue on
Regional Cooperation for Infrastructure Development and Financing
in Asia-Pacific” to be held in New Delhi, India on 21-22
March 2007. Research and Information System for Developing Countries
(RIS), one of India’s think tank institutes, will collaborate
with UNESCAP in organizing the Policy Dialogue.
The event is a follow-up to the Ministerial roundtable held
during the 62nd session of the UNESCAP Commission held in Jakarta
in April 2006 and the Jakarta Declaration on Enhancing Regional
Cooperation in Infrastructure Development, including that related
to disaster management adopted at that session.
It is well known that infrastructure plays a crucial role in
enhancing and sustaining economic growth and the pace of poverty
reduction. Although the Asia-Pacific region as a whole has made
remarkable gains in both these fronts over the years, inadequate
and poor quality infrastructure will be a major constraint to
its continuation. This could be of particular concern to both
small and large developing countries, where lack of infrastructure
has become a bottleneck for growth and development.
A study by UNESCAP found that the Asia-Pacific region would
require a staggering US$ 608 billion per annum to upgrade its
infrastructure. Such large needs have been corroborated by studies
undertaken at the regional level especially by ADB, World Bank
and JBIC and assessments by many individual countries at the
national level. Although the region has very substantial surplus
savings and foreign reserves, these have not been fully utilized
for meeting these huge needs. The reasons are many; lack of
adequate returns from infrastructure investment deterring private
investment, inadequate and underdeveloped institutions and policy
environment; and absence of an effective regional intermediation
mechanism are three major causes. As a result, the majority
of the region’s resources are invested outside the region
at low returns.
The main objectives of the Policy Dialogue are:
a) Discuss the findings of the study by India on “Regional
cooperation for infrastructure financing in Asia, with particular
attention on innovative financial mechanisms for financing infrastructure
and their relevance and applicability to the Asia-Pacific region.
b) Assess investment needs and priorities of UNESCAP member
countries based on a survey conducted by UNESCAP.
c) Identify issues relating to infrastructure development and
financing and discuss on how best they could be addressed.
d) Draw lessons from global and regional players in infrastructure
development and financing.
e) Explore innovative regional mechanisms for financing infrastructure
in the Asia-Pacific region and propose modalities and way forward.
The Policy Dialogue will be attended by ministers, senior government
officials, private sector CEOs and experts and academics.
For more details of the Policy Dialogue, please contact:
Mr. Ravi Ratnayake
Poverty and Development Division
7th Floor, UN Building
Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Fax: (66-2) 288-3007