Increasing the bankability of developments is a key factor to narrowing Asia's infrastructure gap, according to speakers at the "Drivers of Infrastructure Investment in the Asian Market" symposium organized by Siemens Financial Services (SFS) yesterday.
During Siemens Finance Week, the inaugural symposium kicked off in Singapore and welcomed more than 100 attendees. Key industry experts from Siemens, McKinsey Global Institute Asia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, just to name a few, participated in an insightful discussion on the megatrends facing Asia's future, the social and economic infrastructure needed to sustain its growth, and how investment in the region could better support this transformation.
Anthony Casciano, CEO, Industry and Healthcare Finance, Siemens Financial Services, gave the opening address, and noted that now, more than ever, financing is becoming critical in transforming opportunities into reality.
Siemens helps to enable infrastructure projects and new technologies around the world through financing solutions totaling €26 billion in fiscal 2016 – with an Asian footprint of over €3 billion growing rapidly. As part of expanding its regional reach, SFS for example provided a financial solution for Religare Health Trust (RHT) in Singapore allowing the company to expand their portfolio of assets in India. Other recent projects included an equity investment in the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Project in Australia, project finance provided to Jupiter Hospital in India and a term loan to support the building of a new plant for Modern Dental Group in China.
"The key is to embrace new approaches to infrastructure and develop competitive financing solutions to overcome gaps and challenges in order to benefit each country according to its specific needs and economic situation," said Casciano.
World renowned business author and thought-leader, Dr Anil K. Gupta, provided an overview of the global megatrends and game changers shaping the rise of the Asian market and potential implications: "If I look at Asia, it's about 55-57% of the world's population and in fact it is about 40% of the world's GDP but infrastructure in Asia still has a lot to be desired."
Honing in on Southeast Asia, Dr Armin Bruck, Regional CEO of Siemens addressed infrastructure opportunities and economic development.
"Asia is clearly exhibiting the world's strongest need for sweeping infrastructure upgrades. Particularly in ASEAN countries, such as Indonesia and Philippines, the surging rates of urbanization, as well as its climbing GDP growth forecast, means that its infrastructure requires immediate attention and improvement. Huge demand-supply gaps already persist in Energy, Infrastructure, Industry and Healthcare, which may see increased business exchanges between the region and beyond. Better transportation and infrastructure networks will make it easier to engage in cross-border business, which provides more opportunities for Siemens' customers across the region."
Sharing insights from his research on China, the rest of Asia, and global economic and business trends, Dr Jonathan Woetzel, Director of McKinsey Global Institute Asia and Co-Chair of the Urban China Initiative, weighed in on the economic outlook for the region.
"Over the next 15 years, US$20 trillion of economic infrastructure spend will be needed in emerging Asia. Public-private partnerships share of investment greatly varies among economies. The project pipeline is instrumental to securing a flow of financing from institutional investors. In addition, disruptive technology such as digitization can change infrastructure needs radically. For instance, digital technologies are improving the ability to track and price the usage of roads and public transit systems, which can influence traffic volumes and modes," said Woetzel.
Participants of the panel discussion concluded that stakeholders should first analyze the projects that were successfully completed in each country. Coupled with a stable political framework and transparent procurement process, this would create a pipeline of project designs that could be replicated and refined over time.
From 13-17 February 2017, Siemens Finance Week will be illustrating how innovative financing solutions pave the way for new business models. At five events in Singapore (13 February), Leipzig, Germany (14 February), Boston, Massachusetts (15 February), London (16 February) and Mumbai, India (17 February), the company will show how the combination of technology and financing creates added value for various regions and industries – from infrastructure to energy production and all the way to automation and digitalization. More information on Siemens Finance Week is available at www.siemens.com/financeweek
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This press release and further information about the event are available at www.siemens.com/press/financeweek
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