An important week for infrastructure & multilateral cooperation

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Against the backdrop of catastrophic natural disasters that struck in Indonesia, the World Bank Group and IMF Annual Meetings took place last week in Bali. No scene could be more illustrative of the fragility of infrastructure in the face of more extreme and frequent weather events—and the urgent need for meticulous planning, with an eye for resilience.

Planned to take advantage of delegates attending the Annual Meetings, the Global Infrastructure Forum was held in Bali as well, while the Global Infrastructure Facility’s Advisory Council met in Singapore. These events collectively brought together multilateral development banks, high-level government representatives, the private sector, and other development partners to tackle the biggest infrastructure challenges that countries face.

Here we share some glimpses from these three events. They include:
  • A session on how countries can harness the power of urbanization and cities for inclusive economic growth to improve the quality of life for residents
  • A CNBC interview with Co-Chairs of the GIF Advisory Council
  • Panels on creating sustainable infrastructure through technology and good practices in scaling-up infrastructure investments  
Framing the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings

In his opening speech, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim stressed the need to build resilience to natural disasters, tackle the climate shocks that exacerbates them, and share the risks of disasters with the capital markets. Watch the opening press conference here with Kim’s remarks:


Inclusive Urbanization Amid Global Change

How are rapidly growing cities facing challenges in delivering and financing services, such as transport, water, waste management, and housing? And how can countries harness the power of urbanization to grow economies so that everyone benefits? Watch the panel that discusses this here:

The Global Infrastructure Forum
The theme of this year’s Global Infrastructure Forum was Unlocking Green, Sustainable, Resilient and Inclusive Technology Driven Infrastructure.
The forum gathered private sector investors with representatives from the UN and leaders from the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, Islamic Development Bank, New Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.
The opening session focused on sustainable infrastructure through technology. World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva discussed the role the World Bank can play to pave the way for technologies such as solar to flourish.  
Watch the panel here :

Later in the day, Jordan Schwartz, Director of the Infrastructure, PPPs & Guarantees Group at the World Bank, spoke on the panel  Good Practices in Scaling Up Investments in Infrastructure: Sustainability and Governance.
He noted, “All this effort at better preparing projects and bringing MDBs front and center into structuring arrangements that crowd in private sector finance as well as addressing sustainability issues up front—if we weren’t doing that, there would be considerably less investment.”
Watch the full panel discussion here :

The Global Infrastructure Forum’s Outcome Statement can be found here, and more information is available on the  GI Forum’s website.

The Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) Advisory Council meeting
The GIF Advisory Council, comprising representatives of large private financial institutions, multilateral development banks, and donor and beneficiary governments, provides an opportunity to gather everyone together to address specific challenges and opportunities in attracting long-term commercial financing for infrastructure projects in developing countries.
Co-Chairs—World Bank Group CFO Joaquim Levy and Rajeev Kannan from SMBC Asia, a leading global financial institution—appeared on CNBC Asia’s Squawk Box discussing the status and impact of infrastructure and the role of the Global Infrastructure Facility.
You can watch a  short video clip here and the longer version of the interview here on CNBC (this link is only good for five more days, so tune in soon!)

Related Posts:
Everything you need to know to follow the 2018 Annual Meetings
The GIF: Having what it takes to develop infrastructure

Coming together is the way forward: Maximizing Finance for Development
The art of laying bricks: infrastructure as an asset class
The Global Infrastructure Facility: Closing the infrastructure gap by building country capacity



Sunny Kaplan

Communications Specialist, World Bank

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