The Second G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) meeting concludes successfully in Visakhapatnam

The Second G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) meeting under the Indian G20 Presidency concluded successfully in Visakhapatnam on March 29th, 2023. The two-day meeting was co-chaired by Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, along with Australia and Brazil. 57 delegates from 14 G20 member countries, 8 invitees, and 10 international organizations attended the meeting physically.

The G20 Infrastructure Working Group deliberates on various aspects of infrastructure investments, including developing infrastructure as an asset class, promoting quality infrastructure investment, and identifying innovative instruments for mobilizing financial resources for infrastructure investment.

The agenda for the meeting involved discussions on the ways to augment financing in cities of tomorrow, along with other priorities outlined in the 2023 Infrastructure Agenda.

During the discussion, members discussed and agreed on the way forward for important deliverables for the year, including the flagship theme of “Financing Cities of Tomorrow- Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable”. On this agenda, members discussed various facets of making cities economic centres of growth, financing urban infrastructure, building future-ready urban infrastructure etc.

Members also discussed other important themes, such as innovative financing models to scale up private sector investment to address the infrastructure financing gap for creating future cities, and exploring potential application of the Quality Infrastructure Investment (QII) indicators across the infrastructure projects. The meeting also discussed ways to collate the data on Infrastructure spending and make the data useful for the private sector.

On the side-lines of the IWG meeting, a Roundtable of International Organizations to discuss infrastructure taxonomies was also organised. The roundtable discussion was organized in partnership with the Global Infrastructure Hub. Over 13 international experts discussed the role of infrastructure definitions and taxonomies in making better data-driven decisions. The side event witnessed the participation of experts from key International Organizations such as UNDP, OECD, IMF, ADB and EBRD. Representatives from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), Mexico and the Office for National Statistics, United Kingdom, presented case studies on improving national infrastructure spending.

To experience the rich cultural heritage of Andhra Pradesh as well as the diverse cuisine of the state, the delegates were also hosted for “Ratri Bhoj Par Samvad’ (Conversation over Dinner). The delegates were also hosted for a ‘health retreat’ on the beachfront. During the retreat, the delegates were introduced to yoga, meditation and sattvic food.

A Capacity Building Workshop for the G20 delegates will follow the two-day meetings on 30th March. During the workshop, international experts from Korea and Singapore will discuss the international best practices of urban infrastructure financing. The outcome of the capacity building workshop will complement the flagship priority of Financing Cities of Tomorrow – Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable.

The G20 meeting was also preceded by various Jan- Bhagidari initiatives, like model G20 sessions in schools, G20 Marathon and a two-day regional workshop on ‘How cities can leverage private finance’. The workshop was jointly organised by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs, and International Finance Corporation, on the 22nd and 23rd March. It was attended by 70 participants, including municipal commissioners, mayors, and representatives from urban state departments from the states of Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha and two Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

The Indian G20 Presidency will steer the 2023 G20 Infrastructure agenda to foster innovative thinking and expedite stakeholder collaboration across the outlined priorities.