Video Message by Angel Gurría,
Paris, 2 November 2020
Welcome to the Symposium on Quality Infrastructure Investment.
I would like to thank the Government of Japan for continuing to support the OECD’s work on quality infrastructure – and in particular, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Satoshi Nakanishi, for joining us today. Let me also thank Minister of Transport of Colombia, Ms. Angela María Orozco for participating.
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the importance of infrastructure for the smooth functioning of our economies and for our well-being. Technologies have helped our economies and societies avoid a complete standstill, as millions of people have been asked to work or study from home to reduce the spread of the virus.
However, billions of people worldwide still lack access to the most basic infrastructure – whether it be clean energy and water, healthcare services or digital telecommunications. And this is why it remains paramount for us to continue to promote quality infrastructure investment.
Quality infrastructure has a particularly crucial role to play in the recovery. With governments under intense fiscal pressure, infrastructure investment must deliver the greatest possible positive impact on economic activity.
The G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment – developed under the Japanese G20 presidency and endorsed by G20 Leaders in 2019 – provide a comprehensive framework for ensuring that infrastructure investment contributes to sustainable, resilient and inclusive growth.
As part of this global effort, I am pleased to launch today the OECD Compendium of Policy Good Practices for Quality Infrastructure Investment. This Compendium provides a unique policy guidance tool for both developed and developing economies in pursuing quality infrastructure investment. It is also a key deliverable for the OECD’s Horizontal Project on “Strategic Policies for Sustainable Infrastructure”.
The Compendium is a multidisciplinary OECD tool, consolidating and distilling our collective knowledge on quality infrastructure. And it is particularly relevant for developing and emerging economies where significant infrastructure investment is expected to take place in the coming years.
It brings together over 300 relevant OECD good practices and measures drawn from over 50 OECD standards, as well as other guidance developed across more than 25 substantive committees and their subsidiary bodies.
For example, it calls for aligning infrastructure plans with international commitments like the Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure coherence with the governments’ national economic and development strategies. It also stresses that climate impacts and disaster risks should be integrated into all stages of public infrastructure, from planning, budgeting, design, construction, operation, to maintenance.
Looking ahead, the OECD is preparing an Implementation Handbook on Quality Infrastructure Investment that will complement the Compendium. It will focus on key challenges and ways to overcome them, with case studies.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Quality infrastructure is paramount in helping us to not only address many of the challenges created by COVID-19, but also tackle climate change effectively, and help our 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda efforts.
You can count on the OECD and our continued support in delivering better infrastructure for a better and stronger recovery. I wish you a lively and stimulating discussion.