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Brics Symposium to help unlock private investment, close infrastructure funding gap

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana

28th September 2023

By: Nadine James

Features Deputy Editor

     

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The development and delivery of infrastructure ought not to be dependent on the availability of public resources, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told delegates attending the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (Brics) Infrastructure Investment Symposium on Thursday.

In his keynote address, the Minister implied that, with the Global Infrastructure Hub projecting a need for $94-trillion worth of infrastructure investment by 2040, it is unreasonable to expect governments in “constrained fiscal positions” to fund much of the investment.

“With a further $3.5-trillion required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, at the projected investment levels of about $79-trillion, there will be a financing gap of about $18-trillion by 2040.”

As Brics countries constitute a third of this investment requirement, Gondongwana noted that a focus this year had been on exploring ways to fast-track infrastructure development and delivery through increased private sector participation. 

“The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that an $80-trillion long-term investor asset base can be unlocked for infrastructure development.

“We know that infrastructure investments offer stable, attractive and long-term cash flow for investors. For this reason, while the financing gap is suitably large, through greater collaboration and effective partnership, the gap can closed.”

He added that the symposium, in part, sought to provide answers on how to mobilise private investment for infrastructure with the aim of achieving infrastructure agendas and plans of the Brics countries. It also sought to promote approaches that ensured “effective and expedient execution of infrastructure” as well as promoted a transition toward resilient and sustainable economic development.

“We must also think strategically, laterally and pragmatically because the Brics countries' infrastructure agendas are ambitious. And to advance these, scale, innovation and sustainability must be at the centre.”

He commented that government would keep an open mind in engagements and review and strengthen its regulatory systems and processes, as well as earnestly consider the alternative approaches proposed to increase the pace of infrastructure development and delivery, and build capacity and capability.

“We know that without these critical enablers, our quest to create opportunities for mutually accelerated growth and sustainable development is unachievable.” 

The symposium, held on September 28 and 29, is hosted by the Brics task force on private-public partnerships and infrastructure, and is meant to be “the beginning of a long-term and productive engagement to unlock much-needed infrastructure investment”.

 

 

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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