ASEAN governments should invest more in infrastruc

2014-05-23 12:00:00

Governments in Southeast Asia should shoulder a bigger chunk of the amount needed for infrastructure projects in the region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Friday.

ADB Vice President for Operations Stephen Groff said demand for infrastructure in Southeast Asia would require funding of 950 billion U.S. dollars between now and 2020.

"Governments (in the region) would have to take at least 60 percent of that. Institutions like the ADB can provide support, but governments should have an important role," said Groff during a panel discussion on ASEAN infrastructure at the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

Enrique Razon, chairman of the Board and president of the Philippine-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) also said governments should be doing more of infrastructure projects. He also said there are certain projects that the private sector cannot undertake due to the risks it presents.

Razon also noted that protectionist policies such as limits on foreign ownership in Southeast Asian countries make it difficult to attract private sector investments needed for infrastructure projects.

Member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can consider adopting standards that would make it easier to entice investors from the U.S. and Europe, according to Don Lam, chief executive officer and co-founder of Vietnam-based Vina CapitalGroup.

While public-private partnership (PPP) schemes have the potential to entice investors in infrastructure projects, panelists urged proponents to make projects under PPP more " bankable."