B20 seeks $1trn infra savings per year

A final session of the Business 20 Taskforce on Investments and Infrastructure has set out three main aims, including a huge increase in project productivity.

A Business 20 (B20) infrastructure taskforce has come up with several recommendations designed to stimulate investment in infrastructure projects globally. The B20 reports to the G20, the group of 20 leading world economies.

At the B20 Summit in St Petersburg yesterday, chaired by Russian Direct Investment Fund chief executive officer Kirill Dmitriev, the Taskforce on Investments and Infrastructure proposed three key measures:

*The identification and removal of barriers to the free movement of capital. The aim is to increase cross-border investment activity by providing investors with equal access to investments across all countries.

*Stimulating private investment in infrastructure projects and other real economy assets, partly through the creation of a $200 million G20 Project Preparation Fund. The taskforce aims to increase the number of affordable structured infrastructure projects by developing new financial guarantees and reducing project finance costs.

*Increasing the productivity of investments in infrastructure and green energy projects by encouraging the application and development of international best practices. This would involve the building of an infrastructure research network, including a new ‘Competence Center’ in Moscow and the formation of a new expert group on energy.

By increasing capital efficiency, the taskforce believes savings can be made. “The introduction of international best practices in infrastructure development would save up to $1 trillion per year, enabling world GDP to grow by at least 3 percent if these savings were re-invested,” said Dmitriev in a statement.

As well as Dmitriev, the taskforce was attended by the likes of Danny Truell (chief investment officer at Wellcome Trust), Natalia Khanjenkova (managing director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), Hans-Paul Buerkner (chairman of the Boston Consulting Group) and Steven Kandarian (chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Metlife).

The taskforce’s proposals will be reviewed by the G20 at a summit in Strelna, St Petersburg, in September this year.