The World Bank is hosting its inaugural "Urban Week" in Singapore from 7 to 11 March. Testament to Singapore's increasing importance as a regional infrastructure hub, Urban Week is a series of events organised by the World Bank in partnership with the Global Environment Facility and Singapore government partners. Urban Week connects participating cities with public and private sector expertise in the field of sustainable cities, urban planning and management, through sharing of best practices; facilitates work meetings and panel discussions; and raises awareness of Singapore's expertise in infrastructure development.
As part of the Urban Week, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the World Bank organised a Singapore Urban Roundtable this morning. Senior World Bank officials and over 40 regional industry players congregated at this platform to discuss Singapore's capabilities as an urban solutions hub. The Roundtable explored future opportunities for collaboration between the World Bank, Singapore government agencies such as IE Singapore, companies, as well as the public and private sectors in Asia. Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance & Ministry of Law, was the Guest-of-Honour at the Roundtable.
Creating more regional collaborations as the regional infrastructure hub
In line with the expected steady rise in global capital project and infrastructure spending, Singapore announced in 2015, a 50% increase in budget to S$30 billion for infrastructure development. Singapore's continuous investment into infrastructure ensures it has one of the lowest rates of non-revenue water in the world, at approximately 5%. The public housing in Singapore is the outcome of its good infrastructure planning. 80% of Singapore's resident population resides in public housing, of which 82% of these resident households own their own homes.
These national developments, coupled with IE Singapore's industry initiatives such as the Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable, are set to enhance Singapore's role as the regional infrastructure hub. Singapore currently ranks second in having the best environment, facilities and infrastructure in the region. In addition to strong government support, Singapore has a vibrant ecosystem of companies involved in infrastructure development. It is a leading hub that brings together developers, financiers and regional governments to drive more bankable projects and pipeline for the region.
Mr Tan Soon Kim, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of IE Singapore, said, "Infrastructure investment is critical to support sustainable economic development in the region. There is a projected infrastructure gap of US$8 trillion in Asia, especially in South and Southeast Asia. As a regional infrastructure hub, Singapore provides a platform for key stakeholders in the public and private sectors to converge and come up with solutions to establish a pipeline of bankable and well-structured projects." (Refer to Annex for welcome speech by Mr Tan at the Singapore Urban Roundtable.)
IE Singapore and World Bank Strengthens Partnership
In recognising Singapore's role as a springboard for regional urban projects, the World Bank expanded its Singapore Urban Development and Infrastructure Hub, and set up the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) based in Singapore. The GIF will boost the number of quality and bankable projects by supporting project preparation and structuring.
Mr Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director for the World Bank Group's Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, said, "Singapore's urban, water, transport, and tourism development story is inspiring and unique. Her development model offers valuable insights and lessons for sustainable urbanisation in fast-growing cities and metropolitans all over the world. Indeed, the World Bank Singapore Infrastructure and Urban Development Hub was established for this very reason - to tap into Singapore's expertise across private, public, and academic institutions, and share with our client countries in the East Asia and Pacific region and beyond. Making sure that cities are sustainable, resilient and inclusive will be essential to ensuring that the World Bank's twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity continue to be met. To this end, I am pleased to see that today's Urban Roundtable is taking place. I would like to take this opportunity to thank IE Singapore for their sponsorship and great support in co-organising this event."
IE Insights "Powering the Future: Capturing new growth areas in the power ecosystem"
IE Singapore has also launched its Insights report titled "Powering the Future: Capturing new growth areas in the power ecosystem" (.pdf) today. The report delves into the evolving global power landscape, which is an integral part of the infrastructure industry. Through this report, IE Singapore identifies the global trends for new opportunities, which include distributed power generation, smart transmission & distribution, as well as energy efficiency. Based on global demand and capabilities of Singapore companies, IE Singapore shares the different ways in which Singapore companies can capture a slice of the global power market.
Source: World Bank