Linking Cities to Finance – Urban Infrastructure Finance Workshop

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Boosting the Economy by Infrastructure Development

CDIA, in cooperation with the Shanghai International Centre for Infrastructure Finance (SICIF), organized the Linking Cities to Finance – Urban Infrastructure Finance Workshop entitled “Boosting the Economy by Infrastructure Development” on 5 July 2012 in Shanghai, China. Panelists from the Asian Development Bank, Shanghai Chengtou (an investment group company), Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Shanghai Trust, Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange, CDIA and over 50 urban infrastructure finance specialists from domestic and international banks and investment firms attended the workshop.

The workshop, SICIF’s first official event since its inauguration in September 2010, marked an important milestone in SICIF’s development and laid the foundation of its cooperation with domestic and international investment and consultancy firms. Aiming to explore what is needed to promote urban infrastructure finance in terms of debt financing and equity investment, the workshop provided CDIA and SICIF the means to better understand how to facilitate the participation of potential financiers and investors in this process.

Participants expressed different points of view on the financing modes of urban infrastructure, yet they all agreed that it is necessary to accelerate change in China’s traditional financing mode and to apply innovative financial instruments like project bond and asset securitisation. Moreover, they also suggested the need to increase the mobility of infrastructure assets, intensify policy support from supervising departments, actively attract private sectors to participate in the construction and operation of urban infrastructures, standardise the information disclosure system of infrastructure assets and integrate the Chinese market of infrastructure finance with the international ones. After the panel discussion, the Director of Infrastructure Industry from KPMG gave an in-depth presentation on the global macro environment, challenges and opportunities of infrastructure industry. The Director of International Division of the Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau delivered a closing remark with the affirmation of the preparatory work of SICIF. He pointed out that SICIF is strategic for Shanghai to be an international financial centre, and the Municipal Finance Bureau would continue to support the development of SICIF.

The Linking Cities to Finance Forum started in 2010 during the Shanghai Expo and serves as a discussion platform in which key actors in urban infrastructure investment can work together on finding solutions for the development of sustainable urban infrastructures by linking projects to alternative sources of financing.

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