Monday, June 25, 2018

Asian countries need to join hands to improve their infrastructure connectivity

Maharashtra pitches Mumbai Metro Line 4 project with AIIB

Asian countries need to come together to improve their infrastructure connectivity to increase their GDP share in the global economy.
At a panel discussion held as part of the third Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Dr. D.J. Pandian, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, AIIB pointed out that Asia accounts for 50% of the global populace but only constitutes 30% of the world GDP.
Making countries, many of which are land-locked, more connected through rail and road network using the resources of AIIB, to boost trade and economic growth, can reduce the disparity.
The Bank has so far in its short span of just over two years offered infrastructure funding of around US$4.4 billion.
Union Minister for Finance, Piyush Goyal said, India is looking forward to investments in 9 more projects from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank after having picked up almost 28% of the bank’s total lending so far, amounting to US$1.4 billion for 7 projects.
Welcoming delegates from 86 countries, Shri Goyal pointed out that in just three short years, India has hosted three major events for international multilateral banks; the New Development Bank (NDB), African Development Bank (AfDB) and now the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in quick succession.
The first day of the Annual Meeting saw a number of events including the Host Country Seminar namely, “Forging Collaboration and Partnerships: Evolving Strategies and Collective Actions”, which delved into the importance of establishing collaborative partnerships in order to drive efficient infrastructure development.
The chair and moderator of the discussion were, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India, and Mr. James Crabtree, former Financial Times journalist, respectively. Additionally, the renowned personalities on the panel of the session included Mr. Upendra Tripathy, Director General, International Solar Alliance, Mr. S. Vijay Iyer, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, MIGA, Mr. Kapil Kapoor, Vice President, AfDB and Sir Danny Alexander, Vice President, AIIB.
Sharing their views on this topic, each panelist explained their perspective and the resulting opportunities that come with forging partnerships. Sir Danny Alexander said that, it is imperative to create and leverage collaborations in order to support cross country projects, which can be through partnerships with various governments, corporates, institutions as well as public and private sectors.
In the session on “Sustainable Infrastructure”, the panel members emphasized the function, importance and urgency of sustainable infrastructure. The esteemed speakers of the session were Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Government of India, Lord Nicolas Stern, Former Chief Economist, World Bank and IAP, and Mr. Paul Speltz, Former US Executive Director to ADB and IAP moderated the session.
Elaborating on the theme of Sustainable Infrastructure, Sir Nicolas explained that, sustainable infrastructure is crucial and lies at the core of inclusive growth, the sustainable development goals and climate change. Moreover, it is vital that we consciously make an effort to seize this narrow window of opportunity in the next two decades to ensure that we meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. Stating that we need to overcome the obstacles we are currently facing in infrastructure development, he was hopeful of translating potential projects into new investment opportunities.
The day also saw a panel discussion on ‘Gender and Infrastructure’ focused on policy and process put in place for providing better infrastructure both for men and women. The presentation shared by the panelist emphasized on basic needs of women in terms of infrastructure and how it can be modified. 
Later in the day, at the Panel Discussion of Chief Ministers on ‘Vision of Infrastructure Development in India’, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis said, our mission is to become US$1 trillion sub-national economy by 2025 and to align it with the country’s plan to be US$5 trillion economy..
“We have pitched Mumbai Metro Line 4 to AIIB and we are negotiating details with them,” he said at the sidelines of the discussion. He also added that 35% of the vehicular traffic could be reduced with the network of metro planned in Mumbai and Pune.”
Enumerating the road map of infrastructure development, Fadnavis said that Maharashtra accounts for 15% of national GDP, more than 22% of India’s industrial output and 30% of India’s exports.
On the Mumbai Nagpur super expressway, he pointed out that 93% land for super expressway is in possession and the work will start after monsoon.

Industries Department, Government of Maharashtra is the nodal Department, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Government of Maharashtra is the nodal agency, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO), Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) is the knowledge partner and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) is the Exhibition partner for the third Annual Meeting of AIIB.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond. Headquartered in Beijing, we commenced operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 86 approved members from around the world. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, we will better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future. 

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