The creation of a global infrastructure hub in Sydney could go some way to filling the estimated $20 trillion infrastructure gap in leading nations by 2030, according to Brett Himbury, chief executive of IFM Investors.
The hub is to be created after agreement from G20 leaders this weekend in Brisbane. Its role will be to rigorously assess new infrastructure opportunities and provide an independent assessment of each.
It would also implement infrastructure procurement and approvals processes that are transparent, consistent with global leading practices, and include time limits.
Himbury said he was “extremely pleased” to see the establishment of the hub.
“It is befitting the hub will be established in Australia given our expertise in infrastructure funding and financing,” he said. “We look forward to there now being heightened opportunities for institutional investors to deploy significant equity and debt capital to infrastructure globally adding to member returns, driving growth and jobs and improving living standards.”
Himbury has played a key part in proposals to G20 finance ministers, which have informed last weekend’s G20 leader’s summit.
His presentation to finance ministers in Cairns had explained how $1 billion spent on infrastructure could generate 28,000 jobs and called on ministers to implement procurement and approval process that are consistent with global leading practice.
He said the ideas and proposals were new to many of the finance ministers, many of whom are constrained in their abilities to fund new infrastructure.
“The reaction I witnessed at the finance ministers meeting in Cairns gives me confidence we will see a strategic shift globally in the number and quality of infrastructure opportunities for long term equity and debt investors such as IFM.”
G20 leaders were also informed by a meeting of the B20 earlier this year, in which business leaders from the G20 nations estimated that a global hub could unlock an additional $2 trillion in global infrastructure capacity.
The Sydney hub will have a four year mandate.