Remarks by Angel Gurría
12 October 2018 -Bali, Indonesia
(As prepared for delivery)
Ministers and Central Bank Governors,
I would like to start by congratulating again the Argentinian presidency on its Roadmap for Developing Infrastructure as an Asset Class. The roadmap will help us meet the needs of infrastructure investment for sustainable growth and help build connectivity, which will be key in achieving higher productivity, gains in service efficiency, growth in trade and realising greater spillovers from investments. It also sets the stage for quality infrastructure investment as a priority for Japan’s G20 presidency.
Let me stress again the importance of access to high quality data on infrastructure performance, for the successful implementation of the Roadmap’s various pillars.
Investors need access to granular data on infrastructure projects in order to undertake due diligence on prospective investments.
This is why the OECD is supporting, together with major MDBs, the GIH and others, the G20 Infrastructure Data Initiative (IDI). We are pleased to act as Secretariat for this initiative.
By looking at available data sources and identifying information gaps, and by integrating existing repositories of infrastructure data, the Data Initiative will improve data transparency and quality.
The Data Initiative seeks to advance a common framework of definitions and methodologies and build a voluntary guiding model for new data collection through a common portal. This is not only confined to data on financial performance but also includes Environmental, Social Governance (ESG) performance.
I am happy to report that the work is progressing well, with the objective to submit a work plan to the Leaders’ Summit.
Going forward, digital technologies, such as Blockchain and more broadly distributed ledger technology, present an opportunity to transform how physical systems operate by making infrastructure more connected, intelligent, and efficient. These technologies have the potential to ease access to finance, reduce costs, improve data quality and transparency and enhance standardisation. This is an area we look at closely at the OECD and in the context of the G20/OECD Task Force on Long-Term Investment. The work could help further advance the Roadmap.
Finally, we need a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to infrastructure delivery. An approach that looks at what is needed to improve the overall quality of infrastructure service provision – across many dimensions such as governance, safety, efficiency, affordability as well as environmental, social and economic sustainability. Generally speaking, we need to look at the spillover effects of infrastructure investment on the broader community.
These are some of the questions a new OECD project on sustainable infrastructure is looking at, which will complement the work we are doing for the Roadmap and Data Initiative, and that could make a meaningful contribution to G20 work on quality infrastructure going forward.