PUNE: The first meeting of the G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) under India’s G20 Presidency took place on January 16-17 in Pune.
The forum brought together the IWG member countries, guest countries and international organisations invited by India to discuss the 2023 Infrastructure Agenda. The meeting was hosted by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India along with Australia and Brazil as the co-chairs.
The G20 Infrastructure Working Group deliberated on various aspects of infrastructure investments, including developing infrastructure as an asset class; promoting quality infrastructure investment; and identifying innovative instruments for mobilising financial resources for infrastructure investment. The outcomes of the Infrastructure Working Group feed into the G20 Finance Track priorities and promote infrastructure development.
Five key points
The meeting led to consensus on five key points which will be worked upon throughout the year under India’s Presidency. These are: How to make cities sustainable; resilient; inclusive; financing the needs of the cities; and, planning cities with people centric approach.
“There are five key points we could deliberate as part of our proposal and we will be working on them. There was a unanimous consensus on these points”, said SolomanArokiaraj, joint secretary of the Ministry of Finance. He also said that the members participating in the summit unanimously agreed to all the proposals.
The meeting was attended by 64 delegates from 18 member countries, 8 guest countries and 8 international organisations.
Deliberation also included other important themes, such as exploring ways to collate the data on Infrastructure spending and make the data useful for the private sector.
Financing of cities
A workshop with the theme “Financing of Cities of Tomorrow” was also organised for the delegates. Over 15 international experts discussed the issues related to financing of the cities. The workshop discussed how the cities of tomorrow must tie together their key administrative functions, planning, funding, and financing– to increase private sector participation. The workshop focused on the infrastructure, and related technical and managerial capacity needs to build the Cities of Tomorrow.
The G20 meeting was preceded by a number of Jan-Bhagidari initiatives by the Pune Municipal Corporation and other stakeholders, including lectures on G20; seminar on ‘Making Cities Future Ready and Importance of Urban Development’; a G20 cyclothon; a motorbike rally on National Youth Day; swachhata drive; and model G20 discussions in the educational institutions. The initiative involved people from all walks of life in the whole discussions happening around the G20 meeting.
During India’s G20 Presidency, the G20 Infrastructure Working Group is being used as a forum to discuss the challenges that cities face and opportunities that cities will bring in the near future and chart out a course that makes cities more liveable.