In another sign of increased global interest in infrastructure funding, a group of world leaders plan to start a worldwide program to draw more private financing for highways, bridges, water facilities and other projects.
The Global Infrastructure Initiative, launched during the G-20 Summit on Nov. 15-16 in Brisbane, Australia, also will include a new Global Infrastructure Hub to facilitate and coordinate the effort.
The Group of 20, or G-20, includes 19 countries and the European Union.
The hub, announced at the summit, is to be based in Sydney and has a four-year mandate.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the country’s Treasurer, Joe Hockey, in a statement said, “The hub will work internationally to help countries improve their general investment climates, reduce barriers to investment, grow their project pipelines and help match investors with projects.”
Australia will contribute to the hub, along with the U.K., China, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, South Korea, Mexico and Singapore, the Australian officials said.
The hub’s anticipated cost will be $10 million to $15 million per year, according to a G-20 backgrounder.
The global infrastructure initiative aims “to lift quality public and private infrastructure investment,” the G-20 leaders said in a Nov.16 communiqué.
They added, “To help match investors with projects, we will address data gaps and improve information on project pipelines. We are working to facilitate long-term financing from institutional investors and to encourage market sources of finance, including transparent securitization, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.”
G-20 finance ministers and central-bank governors had agreed to the infrastructure initiative in September.
The World Bank in October initiated a public-private Global Infrastructure Facility to raise billions of dollars for projects in developing countries.