Infrastructure development is the prerequisite in the pursuit of sustainable economic growth and social development as none of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved without some direct or indirect input from inclusive infrastructure that benefits all population groups. Across Asia and the Pacific region, economic growth, as well as broader development of economies, is hindered by a shortage of roads, mass rapid transit systems, telecommunications, power plants, water and sanitation and other basic infrastructure, all of which are critical to achieving sustainable development.
Funding these investments is challenging for governments of developing economies that face budgetary constraints and limited borrowing capacity. In this regard, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on Financing for Development, among other suggestions, stipulated “that both public and private investments have key roles to play in infrastructure financing, including through ... mechanisms such as public-private partnerships (PPPs)”.
Recognizing these challenges, ESCAP has provided policy and technical support on public-private partnerships and will continue to support its member States in their infrastructure financing efforts, including through regional cooperation, knowledge sharing and capacity building activities.
ESCAP has a comparative advantage in promoting the use of public-private partnership (PPP) in the region due to its unique role as the regional think tank and most representative intergovernmental body for Asia and the Pacific for the exchange of best practice and policy advocacy. We aim to enhance the capacity of member States to accelerate PPP implementation for inclusive, sustainable and resilient infrastructure development to achieve the 2030 Agenda the region by expanding upon the objectives of the ESCAP Infrastructure Financing and PPP Network of Asia and the Pacific.
Developing Capacities to Structure and Implement Bankable Infrastructure Projects: ESCAP advanced the pilot-project demonstration dialogue by offering project-based training, focusing on early-stage project development, and targeting country-specific issues, in order to strengthen infrastructure development enabling environment, enhance the capability of PPP units, and further develop and integrate capital markets to support long-term investments in quality, inclusive, and climate-resilient infrastructure development in accordance with the SDGs.
Private Sector Engagement: In working together with the private sector, capital market experts and other development partners, ESCAP aims to enhance member States’ capacity for project transaction promotion and PPP knowledge exchange through strengthened regional cooperation among policymakers and major stakeholders in the region with ESCAP playing a critical intermediary role in connecting and matching proposed investments with sustainable investment development projects.
Web Portal and Regional Project Pipeline: Launched during the Fourth Meeting of the Network, ESCAP has prioritized the development of the InfraPPPnet Web Portal of the Network to serve as a web-based information sharing resource. This platform consolidates information on PPP institutions, commercially viable project preparation techniques and project pipelines, and market environment in the region to facilitate project transaction and capacity building.