‘In­dia is a Bright Spot for In­fra In­vest­ment’

Roads, smart cities have lot of po­ten­tial: Global In­fra Hub’s Brum­mitt

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy - Nishtha.Saluja @times­group.com

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.


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