Stronger coordination, skills and transparency needed to elevate sustainable projects in Asean: SIIA

Workers are seen at a construction site in Hanoi, Vietnam May 25, 2017.
APRIL 06, 2020 - 5:58 PM

Southeast Asia needs stronger coordination, skills and transparency in elevating sustainable projects to investors, said a report on financing sustainable infrastructure in ASEAN which was published by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA). 

The report, which was supported by HSBC and exclusive knowledge partner, KPMG in Singapore, identifies 10 recommendations for project finance participants. Here are some of them: 

Singapore government and industry associations 

1. The Singapore government can take the lead and set up a platform featuring a pipeline of local power and transport projects available for investments, and to disclose the results of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments of each project. 

2. Encourage statutory boards, government entities and other large companies to look at green financing as an option to raise funds.

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ASEAN governments 

3. Convene an Infrastructure Summit to emphasise the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 as a regional blueprint for infrastructure projects in ASEAN, grow initiatives by each member state and track sustainable finance flows to power and transport projects

4. Work with multilateral institutions and industry players to train and equip workers with sustainability skills and knowledge in the renewable energy and sustainable transport sectors

5. The ASEAN Secretariat could take the lead in developing a directory of green and sustainable funds for infrastructure projects in the region.

Chen Chen Lee, Senior Fellow at the SIIA, and one of the co-authors of the report, said: “Singapore and ASEAN need to make sustainable infrastructure the foundation for our long-term growth and resilience. We need to arrive at a common understanding around what sustainable infrastructure looks like so that we can walk the talk.” 

She added: “In many parts of Southeast Asia, the lack of infrastructure connectivity continues to hinder industrialisation and economic growth. Challenges such as natural disasters and traffic congestions are significant and they impact the quality of life for its people. Bridging the infrastructure gap requires green and sustainable financing as it promotes the efficient flow of capital towards activities that are more sustainable and responsive to climate concerns while achieving growth.”

For the full list of recommendations, download the "Financing Sustainable Infrastructure" report from the SIIA website or via the HSBC Centre of Sustainable Finance.