Linking Cities to Finance – Leveraging Project Preparation to Finance Sustainable Urban Development Workshop
October 21, 2012
The Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) and Shanghai International Centre for Infrastructure Finance (SICIF) co-organized the “Leveraging Project Preparation to Finance Sustainable Urban Development” workshop as a continuation of the “Linking Cities to Finance Forum” series. This was held in conjunction with the Program Review Committee (PRC) meeting on September 26, 2012 in Shanghai, China. Over 80 representatives of CDIA’s regional and national partner organizations attended the workshop, among which were CDIA’s client cities and private sector entities such as KPMG, the Development Bank of Singapore, domestic banks, consultancy and trust companies, equity and investment firms. Delivering the keynote addresses at the opening were the Deputy Director of Shanghai Finance Bureau (on behalf of Shanghai Municipal Government) and the Alternate Chairman of CDIA (also the Director of the Regional Sustainable Infrastructure Division of the Asian Development Bank).
The focus of this workshop was on how better prepared projects can access limited financial resources. The workshop started with four-infrastructure project presentations as examples of investment proposal preparation requiring financial support. Included in the workshop were two projects from CDIA’s client cities, i.e. a flood prevention system project in Xinyu, Jiangxi province, and a land transformation development project in Gejiu, Yunnan province.
After project presentations, regional and domestic financiers and investors stated their business requirements. Among other equally important criteria, it was emphasized that creditworthy off-takers, adequate termination payment, the availability of local currency financing and properly allocated risks, all encourage investors to make their financial resources readily available.
How project preparation can greatly influence the possibilities of access to financing was the topic of a heated panel discussion. Each panelist gave valuable suggestions on how local governments can make better project preparations, and, how CDIA can further enhance this process and leveraging financing opportunities for them. Key suggestions are:
- Better documentation of projects for potential financiers to understand projects
- Wider dissemination of financiers’ criteria for local governments to prepare projects accordingly
Cities’ aspirations are not always matched with financiers’ and investors’ willingness to participate. Better preparation with understanding of investors’ needs can largely determine the implementation and timely accomplishment of projects. CDIA will continue to devote itself to facilitate this process.