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Can Asean balance growth and sustainability in post-Covid infrastructure development?
(Eco Business, 28 Sep 2020) Private sector investment is needed if Southeast Asia is to address the sustainable infrastructure investment gap that has widened with the Covid-19 pandemic. But investors want to see a stable regulatory climate and more certainty of profits before seizing Asean’s green infrastructure opportunity, say experts.
As the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) emerge from the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic, governments have been looking to invest in infrastructure to revive ailing economies, but experts are concerned about the type of infrastructure being planned in one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions.
Building roads, railways, hospitals and power plants is a reliable way to get economies motoring again, but certain types of infrastructure can be carbon-intensive, locking economies into high-emissions growth trajectories, warned Associate Professor Simon Tay, chairman of think tank Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA).
Speaking on a webinar that is part of Temasek’s Ecosperity Conversations series titled Infrastructure of the Future: Financing Sustainable Growth in Asean, Tay said that it was “critical” for green finance to fill infrastructure investment gaps in the region, which have been widened by the pandemic.
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