Infrastructure Week Goes Global: How Infrastructure Investment in Developing Countries Can Spur Economic Growth
Date: Friday, May 16th, 2014 Time: 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. ET (12:30 – 13:30 GMT or convert time) Location: IFC Auditorium & Online Event Partners: US Chamber of Commerce, Rio Tinto, IFC
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As a global business leader with operations in the developed and developing world, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam Walsh leads a company with a unique perspective on the need for infrastructure investment and its power to catalyze sustainable economic growth. Walsh is also a strong advocate of the power of partnerships to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Walsh and IFC EVP and CEO Jin-Yong Cai will lead a distinguished panel discussion on how development banks, financial markets, the private sector and civil society can bring vital infrastructure to the poorest countries while contributing to global economic growth.
Whenever, I talked about Railway route from Delhi to Moscow, Mumbai to Dubai, Nagpur to Shanghai, Kolkata to Singapore, London to New-York, Tehran to Tel- Aviv, Mumbai to Karachi, Cape of Good Hope to Antarctica, North Pole to South Pole, Macca to Rome to Varanasi, etc. ....people called me crazy. However, everyone agreed that Railway is safest and the most confortable journey. Do you agree such projects are possible in coming future? I feel, with such projects this earth will look heaven, hence this question.
Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Long lasting and Sustainable infrastructure built up is possible only if we stop wars, which not only destroy existing infrastructure but also expertise and humans who built it. Thus, it's a loss for that country as well as for the whole world. Do you agree on this? Is it possible that humans do not fight wars for 100 years, for such infrastructure built up?
Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Why the railway projects like Kaba to Rome to Varanasi cannot be thought to connect all religions?
Why not north pole to south pole railway project is not been thought....ok....why not Delhi-Beijing-Moscow-....to London....to...Helsinki....project be implemented? Why not American-Russian Railways be thought they have only few hundred kilometers of sea in between them...Why Kolkata to Singapore Railways be planned? Why Mumbai to Karachi railway link is not there? Are Human-beings going to fight wars for millions of years? Are not our experts/ expertise and resources lost in wars?... Why human-beings do not implement no war pact for 100 years? Then if all these fantastic projects are implemented the earth will look like heaven. Trust me.
The (co-)financing of transport infrastructure by mining cies must be commended, e.g the financing of the Moatize to Nacala (Mozambique) raillway line via Malawi that will provide direct access to a deep water port for the shipment of coal. In order to optimize expected benefits of the infrastructure for participating countries (e.g. Malawi), transparent operational arrangements that provide open access to qualified railway competitors must be introduced, ideally through establishing an independent rail infrastructure manager. Allowing private financing partners to operate the railway lines may seem attractive, but limits competition and efficiency, and, in the end leads to higher transport prices for other shippers. What is Rio Tinto's view on such separation of infrastructure financing, management and operation of railways?
Energy is a necessity. In America, we use alternating current to transmit our energy to end users. What type of electric grid will be built in your projects, and why? How secure will it be? Will you test new models to implement in more developed (but aging) countries? How do you (or can you) justify the cost of such R&D when the potential for global grid failure has little reliable consensus?
Rio Tinto and the IFC are on the Business Working Group that oversees the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which would channel financing into some $360 billion of mega-projects in energy, transport, and water by 2040. Although PIDA is governed by the AUC, the AfDB, and NEPAD, there has been little outreach to or engagement of African civil society in PIDA. What can be done to change this and democratize the functioning of PIDA?
Economic growth is only possible if the investment is not guided solely for the purpose of profiteering. Unless large corporations making investments in extractive industries are tied to value addition locally to the extent of some part of their produce, the economic development of local economies will never catch up.
The cynical might say that this is just about enabling the exploitation od commodities for commercial gain to Rio Tinto. Road infrastructure on its own does not lift people out of poverty, it may even put them at greater risk, bringing new threats to their environments. What is Ro Tinto doinfg to support disaster risk reduction? Why is it not participating in UN efforts to forge closer links between public and private sectors through the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction?
US Exim Bank's export credit program has yielded good results so far. Projections indicate that US is on course to achieve $2Trillion exports by 2018 (NB: This will still be below 10% projected GDP). What incentives/strategies are laid out to accelerate US Infrastructure exports and turn tables on the 1:1.5 Export-Import ratio?
Please discuss the sum of water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure investment relative to other sectors. Historically the water sector has faced severe under-investment, and despite discussion of how crucial it is for health, sanitation and economic development, it continues to lag energy, telecoms, and other sectors. Will this change any time in the near future? Why or why not?