World Economic Forum: Balance needed in doing infrastructure projects
Cheryl Arcibal (The Philippine Star) - May 23, 2014 - 5:42pm

MANILA, Philippines - The government and the private sector sense the urgency to ramp up infrastructure projects in the East Asian region, but a balance is needed between doing the projects fast and doing them right.

At the World Economic Forum on East Asia on Friday, Stephen Groff, Vice-President, Operations 2 at the Asian Development Bank, Asia needs an $8-trillion investment until 2020 for vital infrastructure projects.

The 10-member countries of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nation have also put up $485 million for the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund.

Enrique Razon, chairman of port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc., said that in the Philippines, the government is "spending more and more"  for infrastructure projects, but still contends with various issues that tend to delay the roll out of these projects.

Don Lam, chief executive officer and co-founder of VinaCapital Group in Vietnam, said Hanoi is moving fast to privatize all their infrastructure projects.

Myanmar, on the other hand, also realizes the need to double their infrastructure investments.

For the Philippines, Transportation and Communication Secretary said the government is now in a better position to opt to finance an infrastructure project on its own instead of relying on the private sector to fund these projects.

"In our situation, when the Aquino government started in 2010, we were in dire straits. We are much better off now as compared to 2010," he said on the sidelines of the Forum's sessions.

He added that Public-Private Partnership projects entail "sophisticated negotiations" that usually take time.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATION AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM DON LAM EAST ASIA EAST ASIAN ENRIQUE RAZON FOR THE PHILIPPINES INFRASTRUCTURE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND PROJECTS
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