07 May Infographic: Financing Sustainable Infrastructure in ASEAN
(Last updated: 8 May 2020. This was a series of posts.)
The “Financing Sustainable Infrastructure in ASEAN” report, which was launched in April 2020, examines the environmental and social (E&S) standards presently adopted by Singapore-based financial institutions to assess power and transport projects in ASEAN. The report provides recommendations for different stakeholders to improve their understanding of how key E&S risks should be viewed and addressed in the power and transport sectors in ASEAN. The report was led by the SIIA, supported by HSBC and our exclusive knowledge partner, KPMG.
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“SIIA’s Financing Sustainable Infrastructure in ASEAN offers a common starting point and a unique insight on sustainability for the ASEAN infrastructure sector. The environmental and social risks covered in the report are a key component of Vena Energy’s proactive sustainability strategy, and this wider thematic focus has inspired and encouraged us to undertake the successful path leading to Vena Energy’s inaugural green bond issuance in February 2020. This was the first corporate USD Green Bond ever issued by a Singapore-based company, and we hope it will help pave the way for more successful green issuances across the ASEAN infrastructure sector,” said Mr Nitin Apte, Chief Executive Officer of Vena Energy.
Mr Eugene Seah, Senior Director (Special Projects), GCEO’s Office, Surbana Jurong Private Limited said, “A key takeaway for me is that there is a strong call for some cities to take the lead in adopting sustainability to help address climate change. Given Singapore’s commitment to sustainable development, the local construction industry and related government agencies can blaze the trail in centralising efforts, manpower and interest in sustainability through digital technology, and support the region via a comprehensive portal with strong search engine.”
Mr Satya Ramamurthy, Head of Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare, KPMG in Singapore said, “There is a strong business case for infrastructure sustainability. Besides being good for investor returns, it brings about many positive outcomes ranging from sound economic development and an effective use of financial resources to improved quality of life for people. We hope that this report can be the starting point to galvanise the stakeholders involved to engender change within the ecosystem, ultimately helping to position Singapore as the Transformation Capital of Asia.”
On the steps that banks can take, Mr Jonathan Drew, Managing Director, Sustainable Finance, HSBC Asia Pacific, said, “Banks have a responsibility to direct the flow of capital towards building a sustainable future. This report provides practical suggestions on the steps that banks and financial institutions can take to help facilitate a common understanding within the industry on the key E&S risks related to infrastructure projects, and build those into project selection and design. This will be vitally important as we navigate through the current challenges and also as we structurally shift towards a more sustainable future for all.”
On why sustainable infrastructure is one of the key tenets of ASEAN’s growth, Ms Chen Chen Lee, Senior Fellow at the SIIA, and one of the co-authors of the report, said, “Singapore and ASEAN need to make sustainable infrastructure the foundation for our long-term growth and resilience. We need to arrive at a common understanding around what sustainable infrastructure looks like so that we can walk the talk.”
She continued, “In many parts of Southeast Asia, the lack of infrastructure connectivity continues to hinder industrialisation and economic growth. Challenges such as natural disasters and traffic congestions are significant and they impact the quality of life for its people. Bridging the infrastructure gap requires green and sustainable financing as it promotes the efficient flow of capital towards activities that are more sustainable and responsive to climate concerns while achieving growth.”