G20 meeting in Visakhapatnam will deliberate on various aspects of urban infrastructure investments, says senior official

‘It was a major challenge for all governments to meet the investment cost of building urban infra to cater to the burgeoning population’

March 27, 2023 07:30 pm | Updated 07:30 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Solomon Arokiaraj, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance

Solomon Arokiaraj, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance

The rapid urbanisation taking place across the globe is not only a challenge but also an opportunity as cities contribute about 80% of the GDP of a region. An estimated 50% of the population are living in cities, and by 2050 this is estimated to increase to 70%, says Solomon Arokiaraj, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

The second G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) meeting, under G20 Indian Presidency, will be held in Visakhapatnam on March 28 and 29.

Giving details to the media here on Monday, Mr. Arokiaraj said that 63 delegates from G20 member countries, invitee countries and international organisations were expected to participate in the meeting, which would focus on the agenda for the IWG under the Indian Presidency.

It was a major challenge for all governments to meet the investment cost of building urban infra to cater to the burgeoning population. The meeting would hold discussions on the topic: “Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable”. It would also deliberate on the 2023 Infrastructure Agenda and follow up on the discussions held during the first IWG meeting held in Pune in January this year.

The G20 IWG deliberates on various aspects of infrastructure investments, including developing infrastructure as an asset class, promoting quality infrastructure investment, and identifying innovative instruments for mobilising financial resources for infrastructure investment. The Joint Secretary said that there would be two more IWG meetings to be held in June and October this year. A paper would be brought out on the outcomes of the IWG for endorsement at the Ministry-level. The ultimate aim would be to build resilient, inclusive and sustainable urban infrastructure.

During the two-day meeting, various official meetings and cultural programmes have been planned for the delegates. In addition to the formal discussions, the delegates would also get to experience Visakhapatnam’s rich culture and beautiful landscapes.

On the sidelines of the IWG meetings, a ‘Roundtable of International Organisations to discuss Infrastructure Taxonomies’, would be organised in partnership with the Global Infrastructure Hub. This event would witness participation of experts from international organisations such as UNDP, OECD, IMF, ADB and EBRD.

A capacity-building workshop for the G20 delegates would be held on March 30. Experts from Korea and Singapore would discuss the international best practices of urban infrastructure financing.

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