‘India is a Bright Spot for Infra Investment’
Roads, smart cities have lot of potential: Global Infra Hub’s Brummitt
New Delhi: India is seen as a bright spot for infrastructure investment amid rising protectionist measures around the world, said Bill Brummitt, chief operating officer (COO) of the Global Infrastructure Hub, a platform launched by G20 countries to address global infrastructure deficit.
“I think it’s very important that infrastructure markets don’t get caught up in that protectionist mindset and we continue to see international capital flowing across borders, and not just capital, but also expertise,” Brummitt told ET in an interaction. “Viewed from Australia (where the group is based), India is still seen as a very promising market with a very large market, growing fast, and with a lot of opportunity,” he added.
The Global Infrastructure Hub last year launched its Project Pipeline to provide the private sector with information about government infrastructure projects across the world. “It’s designed to provide a platform where procurement authorities, whether it’s the national authorities at the state or local level, can put projects onto that pipeline, and therefore, raise their visibility with international investors all around the world,” Brummitt said.
The Global Infrastructure Hub currently does not link investors and companies building infrastructure project but is hoping to do so in future.
“As Project Pipeline matures, and there are more projects listed on the pipeline and more investors looking at the pipeline, we will be able to keep track of whether the pipeline is actually helping the companies to find projects,” he said.
Brummitt was in India last week to hold talks with officials from the ministries of finance and road transport on the tools the group has developed as a knowledge-sharing platform.
Roads and smart cities are two key areas which seem to have a lot of potential in India, Brummitt said.
“I’m aware that India has a very large broad PPP (public private partnership) programme in the roads sector at the mo- ment. And now India is urbanising, has a huge population, lot of big cities, and I think a lot of people are talking about the smart circles, smart cities agenda in India as well,” he said.
Apart from their focus on PPPs and concession management, the group is also pushing for multilateral development banks like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Asian InfrastructureInvestment Bank to link private investment with public infrastructure projects. “The more we can encourage the multilateral development banks to use their whole range of skills and resources and onthe-ground presence that they have at their disposal, to help encourage and facilitate private finance rather than using their own capital, we think the better off the world would be,” Brummitt added.