As Asia emerges from the havoc wreaked by Covid-19, infrastructure will play an important role in its recovery journey. The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities and gaps in this space, but it has also prompted the industry to reprioritize sectors such as healthcare, logistics, and information-communications technology (ICT), relook at pricing and financing mechanisms, enhance the adoption of technology, and sharpen focus on resilience and sustainability.
Across Southeast Asia, the demand for infrastructure and the pipeline for projects remain strong. The region’s huge infrastructure financing requirements, however, has further widened as governments divert funds to Covid-19 response. Tapping new sources of funding is critical and mobilizing private capital is now more crucial than ever.
While interest from the private sector is on a high, participation remains low. Making infrastructure investments more attractive is a challenge to Asian governments. Singapore has come up with a range of initiatives aimed at promoting the use of capital markets in infrastructure finance. The recent introduction of climate transition finance principles is also expected to boost investments in this space while supporting project sponsors looking to reduce carbon emissions.
Moving forward, technology and sustainability will be integral to the success of infrastructure projects. Already, investors favour developments with better environmental, social and governance (ESG) standing. Meanwhile, disruptive technologies such as smart grid, automation and artificial intelligence are already making a huge impact on sectors such as energy and transportation.
The Asset Events+ is pleased to be hosting the 6th Asia Infrastructure Finance Leadership Series on the theme – Infrastructure reimagined. The annual gathering of infrastructure finance leaders will discuss the outlook for Asian infrastructure and how the pandemic is reshaping the financing landscape.