On 25 March 2020, the CAREC Institute and the Asian Development Bank Institute co-organized a videoconference on Unlocking Private Investment in Sustainable Infrastructure in Asia. The videoconference aimed at exchanging views and research findings on private investment potential and opportunities for the CAREC region.
Some preliminary calculations show that the demand for investment in CARE region amounts to $79.7 billion till 2030. The water sector upgrade in Central Asia necessitates around $20-25 billion. The region loses $4.5 billion annually due to lack of investment and cost of non-cooperation. Hence, attracting private investment for sustainable water infrastructure becomes vital.
The participants highlighted potential opportunities for unlocking private investment, importance of pension funds and life insurance, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and financial education of the general public. While PPPs can stimulate sustainable infrastructure projects, financial literacy can provide investment knowledge that will ultimately affect the overall private investment mobilization.
Dr. Umid Abidkhadjayev, Deputy Director of Center for Economic Research and Reforms of Uzbekistan, presented a case study of the Toshguzar-Boysun-Kumkurgon railway line in Uzbekistan to demonstrate the impact of infrastructure investment, and importance of evidence-based infrastructure financing.
There was a shared understanding among the participants that promoting sustainable infrastructure in the region can be successful by ensuring that it considers both socio-economic and environmental aspects, and by active engagement of state and private actors.
Both entities plan to continue research, case studies, seminar, and educational efforts in this regard.