UN urges infra rethink

The United Nations (UN) has suggested that a rethink of how infrastructure projects are presented to the private sector could unlock “trillions of dollars”.

Elliott Harris, chief economist at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and assistant secretary-general for economic development, said that bundling projects could attract financing from large institutional investors in countries where projects tend to be relatively small.

“I do think we have to be aware of what is needed if we want to present projects that could attract private finance,” he said.

Speaking at the Global Infrastructure Forum in Bali, Harris also warned that “technical capacity building assistance has to happen” to tackle the absence of investable projects in both developed and developing countries.

Harris’s comments come just days after several multilaterals agreed to increase technical assistance and advisory services, disseminate knowledge on the delivery of bankable projects and support public procurement efforts.