With Launch of ASEAN Economic Community, Region Must Make Integration a Reality

Jakarta, Indonesia, 21 April 2015 – With the milestone launching of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), South-East Asian nations have the opportunity to take the region to the next level of development, though there are significant challenges ahead, the Co-Chairs of the 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia agreed in the closing session of the meeting. “There is an eagerness to make this work and put all the elements in action to move forward, have a level playing field, a much bigger market and grow the pie significantly in the next few years,” said Hans-Paul Bürkner, Chairman of The Boston Consulting Group.

The theme of the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2015 was “Anchoring Trust in East Asia’s New Realism”. Building trust among all stakeholders and in institutions will be crucial if ASEAN is to succeed in reaping the full benefits of regional integration.

“People have lost trust in the ability of markets and business to create wealth and to fairly allocate opportunities,” observed John Riady, Executive Director of the Lippo Group in Indonesia. “So it is important for business to reflect on its role and the role that it can play in society. But this is important not only for business. No matter who we are – whether in government, education, media or NGO – this is an important time to reflect on stewardship, how we can be better stewards of what we have been given, and how we can rethink what we are doing and better structure our institutions to reflect the realities of our world.” Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Mandiri (Persero) in Indonesia, added: “We can get things done faster if we have mutual trust that we have built in these meetings.”

For her part, Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice-Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation in the Philippines, said that the discussions at the World Economic Forum on East Asia had highlighted the major challenges ahead for ASEAN, in particular labour mobility. “There is now an understanding of the importance of the freer movement of human capital,” she said. William Lacy Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva, agreed: “It is quite clear that, with the very exciting regional integration going on here, human mobility will be increased and expedited as a result. We have to look at it as both a challenge and opportunity. Migration is not a problem to solve; it is a reality to be managed.”

Earlier, in a session on the global impact of ASEAN, business and government leaders spoke of the opportunities and challenges of ASEAN’s regional integration. “If you think about the notion of a more complete supply chain across the region, there are huge advantages,” said H. Raymond Bingham, Chairman of the Board of Flextronics International in the US. “Many of the elements are already here in ASEAN, but there are barriers – boundaries, regulations, the inability to have a mobile workforce.”

“The practice of the AEC is there, but trade in services is still limited,” acknowledged Bambang Brodjonegoro, the Minister of Finance of Indonesia. “The homework for all ASEAN leaders is to make sure that the Community becomes a reality.” With ASEAN integration deepening, Myanmar will have to address issues such as the lack of skills and the need to improve education, said Serge Pun, Chairman, Serge Pun & Associates (Myanmar). “As the youngest member of ASEAN, we want to have our cake and eat it. We want all the benefits of integration, but we are also worried about competing with mature economies and companies.”

India sees significant opportunities for driving its growth in engaging the ASEAN, said Adi B. Godrej, Chairman, the Godrej Group, Godrej Industries, in India. “There are a lot of things that ASEAN countries can do to leverage each other’s strengths to further rapid growth,” he advised. “India could be a great partner of ASEAN.”

The AEC and regional integration of ASEAN are “a work in progress, but we have done a lot,” Cesar V. Purisima, Secretary of Finance of the Philippines, told participants, noting that electronics is a sector where major significant integration across the 10 South-East Asian economies has already been achieved. “We have seen the value of one market. We are working through it systematically – in the ASEAN way.”

“It is time to take action,” Murat Sönmez, Chief Business Officer and Member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum, told participants in remarks at the end of the closing session. He outlined four issues that were the focus of discussions at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, including public-private cooperation on infrastructure development, financial inclusion, the need to address non-communicable diseases and food security. At the meeting, the Forum, in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat, launched Grow Asia, a new programme to strengthen food security and sustainable agriculture in ASEAN, reaching 10 million farmers by 2020.

In closing the World Economic Forum on East Asia, Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia and Philipp Rösler, Member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum, announced that next year’s meeting will be held in Malaysia

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World Economic Forum Shortlists 6 East Asian Companies as Global Growth Companies

Jakarta, Indonesia, 20 April 2015 – The World Economic Forum today announced its selection of Global Growth Companies (GGCs) regional finalists for East Asia. As regional finalists, the six companies have been given the opportunity to join the larger GGC community at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This is the first stop in their journey towards the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, in Dalian, People’s Republic of China in September, where the World Economic Forum will recognize and honour the selected 2015 class of GGCs.

GGCs are fast-growing companies with the potential to become global economic leaders. The nominated companies represent a broad cross-section of industry sectors and share a track record of exceeding industry standards in revenue growth, promotion of innovative business practices and demonstration of leadership in corporate citizenship.

The regional finalists for East Asia are:

  • Amata Corporation (Thailand) – the largest listed conglomerate in the industrial estate sector in Thailand
  • GrabTaxi (Malaysia) – a fast-growing automated taxi booking platform in South-East Asia
  • Hoa Sen Group (Vietnam) – a leading manufacturer of building materials in Vietnam
  • Sritex/Sri Rejeki Isman (Indonesia) – one of the largest garment manufacturer in East Asia
  • Tokopedia (Indonesia) – a popular marketplace site which enables individuals and business owners to open online stores
  • Trade and Development Bank (Mongolia) – a leading provider of banking and financial services in Mongolia

“The World Economic Forum is proud to recognize these six companies that are at the forefront of driving responsible economic growth, job creation and entrepreneurism in East Asia. We look forward to the active and dynamic role they will play at our meeting in Jakarta, working with the region’s leaders to foster inclusive, sustainable growth in the region,” said David Aikman, Managing Director and Head of New Champions at the World Economic Forum.

Together with Social Entrepreneurs, Technology Pioneers, Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers and Young Scientists, GGCs make up the New Champions, a World Economic Forum community of pioneers, disruptors and innovators.

Selection as a GGC provides companies with an opportunity to join the existing GGC community of over 380 enterprises worldwide. These companies contribute to the Forum’s meetings, projects and knowledge products, which in turn support them on their path to achieving responsible and sustainable growth.

The World Economic Forum recognizes new GGCs through a rigorous selection process. Candidates are drawn from a pool of highly qualified companies following a worldwide nomination process. Individuals with a strong understanding of companies that might qualify as a GGC are invited to submit nominations for the next selection cycle. To nominate a company, please complete the online form here.

Regional finalists for East Asia will join the GGC community in Jakarta on 19-21 April. Convening under the theme, Anchoring Trust in East Asia’s New Regionalism, the meeting will gather the region’s most senior decision-makers to explore through public and private sessions on how enhancing trust can improve regional cooperation and accelerate sustainable socio-economic development.

The Co-Chairs of the World Economic on East Asia are: Hans-Paul Bürkner, Chairman, The Boston Consulting Group, Germany; John Riady, Executive Director, Lippo Group, Indonesia; Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Chief Executive Officer, PT Bank Mandiri (Persero), Indonesia; William Lacy Swing, Director-General, International Organization for Migration (IOM); and Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice-Chairman of the Board, SM Investments Corporation, Philippines.

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IMF Executive Board Reviews the Role of Trade in the Fund’s Work

On February 27, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed the five-yearly Review of the Role of Trade in the Work of the Fund [to be hyperlinked to the paper]. This review follows the Board-endorsed recommendations and proposed implementation plan arising from the 2009 IEO Evaluation of IMF Involvement in International Trade Policy Issues. The staff paper provides a broad overview of the role of trade and trade policy issues in the work of the Fund over the past five years and discusses how to integrate and operationalize the implications of the changing global trade landscape at the Fund. The paper focuses on macro-critical trade issues and proposes to introduce a work agenda for the next five years. Based on the staff paper, the Board’s discussion focused on how to make trade an essential element of the IMF’s operational work and to further develop a work agenda for the Fund.

Following the Executive Board’s discussion, Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director and Chair, stated: “Executive Directors welcomed the review of the role of trade in the work of the Fund and broadly agreed with its main findings. They noted that the trade landscape has changed rapidly in recent years.

Directors considered that trade is an essential component of the global policy agenda to bolster growth and saw a need to reignite the multilateral trade system. They noted that there are potentially large global gains to be derived from further trade liberalization and integration, including from traditional trade liberalization in many countries and sectors, lowering barriers in new trade policy frontiers, and additional expansion of global supply chains. Directors also noted that trade reforms can complement and augment the benefits of other structural reforms, spur additional infrastructure investment, and support the strengthening of policy and institutional frameworks. “Directors welcomed the high quality and policy-relevant work done by the Fund. They emphasized that the Fund’s work in this area should remain within its mandate, addressing trade issues deemed macro-critical and taking into account resource constraints and limited trade expertise. This would require careful prioritization and continued collaboration with other international institutions, including the World Trade Organization and the World Bank.

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Speech of the Week: China and the Global Economy: Creating New Ingredients for Growth

China and the Global Economy: Creating New Ingredients for Growth

Christine Lagarde
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Fudan University, Shanghai, March 20, 2015

Introduction

Good afternoon – Xia Wu hao! I would like to thank Professor XU Ningsheng, President of Fudan University, and Professor LU Xiongwen, Dean of the School of Management, for their kind invitation and introduction. And thank you to the entire faculty and to you – the students – for your warm welcome.

It is a great pleasure to be here at Fudan University, one of the oldest and best universities in China – and one of the most beautifully named academic institutions in the world.

The two Chinese characters, Fu (復) and Dan (旦), literally mean: “heavenly light shines day after day”. This encapsulates the perennial quest for academic excellence: you get up; you study hard, day after day, to achieve your goals. It is also an image of renewal, hope, and harmony.

These are some of the qualities that China can bring to the global economy – a global economy that continues to be weighed down by low growth, high debt, and high unemployment. The world needs a thriving Chinese economy, and China needs a thriving global economy.

This harmony of interests needs to be nurtured, day after day, through global cooperation, national efforts, and individual contributions – your contributions as future leaders of China. This is what I would like to discuss with you today.

But before I delve into our discussion, I would like to share with you a little secret: I have a weakness for Chinese tea, especially green and black teas.

Chinese tea culture connects ancient traditions with the rituals of modern life. It connects the sublime and discerning that we reserve for special occasions with the simple pleasures that we all need during a long day of work or study. This is what I admire; this is what I am always looking forward to when I visit China.

So why is my humble cup of tea relevant right now? Because running an economy is akin to brewing an exquisite cup of Chinese tea – both require impeccable timing and a delicate mix ofingredients.

With this in mind, I would like to discuss three topics:
• What are the ingredients for global growth?
• What are the ingredients for China’s economic growth?
• And what are the ingredients for your own success?

1. Ingredients for global growth

Let me begin with the global economic cup of tea. More than six years after the start of the global financial crisis, we are still feeling its bitter aftertaste.

High debt and high unemployment are the bitter legacies of this crisis, and too many countries are still struggling to overcome them. Too many companies and households are still cutting back on investment and consumption because they are concerned about low future growth.

These lingering weaknesses have held back the global recovery. The IMF recently cut its global growth forecasts for both 2015 and 2016 (to 3.5% and 3.7%) – despite the boost from cheaper oil and stronger U.S. growth.

The recovery remains fragile because of significant risks. One such risk emanates from the expected tightening of U.S. monetary policy at a time when most other countries are easing monetary conditions. If not well managed, this “asynchronous” monetary policy may trigger excessive volatility in global financial markets.

Another risk is the strengthening U.S dollar and its possible impact on emerging market economies. These countries could be vulnerable because many of their banks and companies have sharply increased their borrowing in dollars over the past five years.

A further risk is a prolonged period of low growth and low inflation in Japan and in the Euro Area – although we are beginning to see signs of an improvement in activity and inflation expectations in the Euro Area.

All this points to one thing: the need for a more powerful policy mix. The key ingredient is greater structural reform in allcountries, including China.

For many countries, this means ramping up public investment to expand or fix up vital infrastructure. It means stepping up trade liberalization, and pressing ahead with reforms in education, health, social safety nets, and labor and product markets. It also means unleashing the economic power of millions of women who have been locked out of the labor market.

The G-20 group of leading economies, including China, has put these reforms at the center of its new growth strategy. This initiative is expected to add more than US$2 trillion to the global economy and create millions of new jobs over the next four years. But the plan must now be implemented – country by country, reform by reform.

What does all this mean for China?

Global conditions affect China mostly through trade and commodity prices. For example, stronger U.S. growth is good news for Chinese exports. And cheaper oil increases China’s private demand and the purchasing power of its consumers. The not-so-good news is the prospect of sustained weakness in demand in other emerging markets and in the Euro Area, China’s largest trading partner.

At the same time, China provides much-needed support to the global economy. It has accounted for more than a third of global growth over the past seven years.

But to retain its leading position, China needs to keep reinventing its economic ingredients. This is how China transformed itself in a remarkably short period – from an inward-looking, less-developed economy into the world’s biggest manufacturer and trading nation.

As it grows to become the world’s largest economy, China stands – yet again – on the cusp of another self-transformation – which is my second topic.

2. Ingredients for China’s economic growth

China’s biggest challenge is to avoid getting stuck in what economists call the “middle-income trap”. China is now a middle-income country, and one that is determined to become a high-income country by 2030.

Premier Li Keqiang recently said: “Systemic, institutional, and structural problems have become ‘tigers in the road’ holding up development.” This is why China has launched deep structural reforms to lift incomes and living standards in the long term.
These reforms will lead to a “new normal” of slower, safer, and more sustainable growth. In this context, the IMF forecasts GDP growth of 6.8 percent in 2015 – about half a percentage point less than last year.

Let me be clear: slower, safer, and more sustainable growth is good for China and its people – and it is good for the world. By brewing its economic cup of tea more slowly, China will end up with a richer taste.

The challenges and potential rewards are huge. China has begun a process of rebalancing in multiple dimensions: from investment to consumption; from manufacturing to services; from capital-intensive growth to one that is driven by innovation, higher skills, and technology.

How can you achieve all this? By creating the right conditions and getting the work done.

By preserving economic and financial stability, the government is creating the conditions in which adjustments can unfold safely. For example, credit growth has slowed in the past 12 months, which is helping to contain vulnerabilities in the financial system.

The government is also pressing ahead with ambitious, market-oriented reforms laid out in the Third Plenum blueprint. Let me highlight one key objective – opening up the service sector.

By injecting greater competition into the service sector, China will boost employment, consumption, and living standards. This requires removing barriers for private companies in areas such as finance, education, health, telecom, and logistics. These sectors will offer exciting entrepreneurial opportunities for yourgeneration.

In fact, you can launch your new business right here in Shanghai. This great city has been leading the liberalization of China’s service sector by changing business regulations and encouraging startups. The new Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone is a testament to Shanghai’s long tradition of pragmatism, business innovation, and international outlook.

Finance is playing a particularly important role, and not just here in Shanghai. China is now creating a modern financial sector that can channel its vast savings into the most efficient investments – including the start-ups that you will create.

There has been good progress in opening up the financial sector. For example, China has liberalized its lending rates and has made its deposit rates more flexible. The government is also encouraging private investors to establish small and medium-sized banks and other financial institutions.

Maintaining this reform momentum will be essential. This means taking further steps to liberalize the deposit rates and the exchange rate. It means removing implicit government guarantees, especially for state-owned enterprises, to promote better pricing and allocation of credit. It also means developing a greater tolerance of corporate defaults and bankruptcies to create more room for healthy companies to thrive and access credit.

All these reforms are united by a common ingredient – a greater willingness to allow market forces to work. Let them do more work – for you! This will lead to safer, higher-quality growth.

China also needs more sustainable growth.

As with many countries around the world, China’s economic success has come at a price – increasing environmental damage and rising income inequality. This is precisely why China is moving to a development model that will generate greener, more inclusive, and more widely shared growth.
We all know that green is good. But more often than not, Chinese skies are grey. As you all know, air pollution, water pollution, and soil contamination are major challenges. They are not only bad for your health, they are bad for growth.

Clearly, environmental awareness is increasing at all levels of Chinese society, and actions are being taken. China has been stepping up its green policies: from cracking down on industrial pollution to spearheading innovation in renewable energy. It has recently raised gasoline taxes and is considering an environmental protection tax. But there is still a long way to go.

Another long-term challenge is rising income inequality.

China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty over the past three decades – an amazing achievement by any standard. But disparities persist between rural and urban regions, coastal and inland areas, and within cities and rural areas.1

IMF studies have shown that excessive income inequality leads to slower and less sustainable growth. Strengthening social safety nets and improving access to education, health care, and financial services can be powerful forces to reduce income inequality. So too can be smart redistributive policies, including more progressive taxation.

What about gender inequality?

China has a strong record of encouraging female entrepreneurship, and many of its most accomplished business leaders are women. Overall, women account for 45 percent of China’s labor force, on par with most advanced economies. But women make up only 25 percent of people in “positions of responsibility,” according to census figures.

This suggests that women are still facing some constraints, particularly in rural areas.

Addressing these obstacles will be good for women and men – and good for China. IMF studies have shown that greater gender equity leads to higher, more sustainable growth.

Here in China, it is often said that “women hold up half the sky”. Your generation will ensure that women also hold up half the economy.

This brings me to my third topic – the ingredients of your success.

3. Ingredients for your success

Your generation has a unique opportunity to bring together individual, national, and global ingredients. What do I mean by that? I mean that you can use your skills to create Chineseproducts and services that have a global impact.

Think of biotech, green technologies, and cutting-edge information systems. Think of the bustling ecosystem of smartphone apps that facilitate your shopping, social interactions, financial transactions, and media consumption. Some 80 per cent of the world’s adult population is expected to own a smartphone by 2020 – and Chinese firms will seize that market opportunity.

Think of opportunities in film, music, video games, and other creative industries. Who would have thought that the world would dance to Korean pop music? China is now beginning to sing its own song for global audiences.

But creating high-end products for global customers requires a global view. Travel, foreign languages, overseas studies, and cross-border cooperation in science and product innovation: these are some of the tools that will help you better understand what makes your future customers and colleagues tick. You will have a chance to learn from others – and have others learn from you.

Above all, you will have a chance to create sustainable ventures that are firmly grounded in mutual trust and strong ethical behavior. Look what has happened to the reputation of bankers in many advanced economies. They are still struggling to rebuild the trust that was broken in the global financial crisis. Some have said that ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching – even when doing the wrong thing is legal.

As you are pondering your limitless opportunities as global leaders, you may also want to consider the benefits of failure – of succeeding through trial and error. The theme song of the classic Chinese TV series, Journey to the West, offers some good advice: “Dare to ask where the road is; the road is beneath your feet”.

In other words, keep on trying and testing, and create your ownpath, your own “Chinese dream”!

So what can the IMF do for you?

I encourage all of you to consider joining the IMF. You will discover that the IMF is one of those places that bring together global, national, and individual ingredients. And you will be in good company: 140 Chinese nationals are already making their mark at the IMF, including 8 graduates of Fudan University. And we continue to recruit Chinese graduates into our Economist Program and at mid-career levels.

At all levels, including senior management, Chinese nationals are helping the IMF to achieve its mission – to preserve global economic and financial stability. I am particularly grateful to Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu, a graduate of Fudan University, for his wisdom and dedication, and to Jianhai Lin, Director of the department that supports our Executive Board representing 188 member countries.

The IMF is the premier forum for economic cooperation in the world today. We do this through annual check-ups of every country’s economy – we call this “surveillance” – and through lending to countries in times of crisis. We also work very closely with our members to bolster their capacity and resilience through our technical assistance.

Above all, we help analyze the “spillover” effects of one country’s policies on others. In the future, we believe this will be one of our most valuable contributions in this interconnected global economy.

The world is connected, but not united. In fact, the world is struggling to find new ways of working together on some of the issues that matter most: from climate change and international development to global financial stability.

China has a key role to play in shaping a stronger form of global cooperation, which I have called the “new multilateralism”. Later this year, for example, China will play a pivotal role in reaching an international agreement on climate change. And next year, China will have a chance to set the global economic agenda through its presidency of the G-20. What an exciting prospect! But also, what a great responsibility!

Conclusion

Let me conclude.

Over the past three decades, China has amazed the world through its economic transformations. Over the next few decades, China will astound the world through its global economic leadership.

As future leaders, you are the most important ingredients of this new China. As I said at the beginning, brewing an economic cup of tea requires a delicate mix of ingredients and impeccable timing. This is your time – your moment – to brew an outstanding cup of tea – for yourself, for China, for the world.

Thank you. Xièxiè.


1 Moreover, China is now home to 190 billionaires and more than two million millionaires. This means that, in terms of high-net-worth individuals, China ranks just below the United States.

 

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The Future of Infrastructure Investing in Asian Megacities

The Future of Infrastructure Investing in Asian Megacities

The Future of Infrastructure Investing in Asian Megacities

The Future of Infrastructure Investing in Asian Megacities

Tokyo is Asia’s foremost megacity. It has been in a slumber while Japan was restructuring, but now shifts into a higher gear of advanced physical and digital infrastructure development.

The latest agenda is now available online for the Infrastructure Investor: Tokyo Forum 2015, taking place on the 22 April at theMandarin Oriental in Tokyo.

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Report: Mitigating Political & Regulatory Risk for Successful Infrastructure Projects

  • The world’s huge infrastructure demand cannot be met by the public sector alone; private investors and operators are needed, but they worry about political and regulatory risk.
  • Today, political and regulatory risk takes many forms – from community protests to tightened regulations and corruption – and is relevant in both developing and industrialized countries.
  • A new report in the World Economic Forum’s Infrastructure Knowledge Series outlines actionable risk-mitigation measures to be taken by the public and private sectors, and in a multistakeholder effort.

New York City, 25 February 2015 – A new report, Mitigation of Political & Regulatory Risk in Infrastructure Projects, has been launched today as part of the World Economic Forum’s Strategic Infrastructure Knowledge Series.

Political and regulatory risk is one of the major constraints on infrastructure investment decisions. It takes different forms over an infrastructure project’s life cycle, from delayed construction permits and community protests to breach of contract, tightened regulations and the non-renewal of licences. In addition, some broader risks apply throughout the life cycle – changes to taxation laws, for instance, and endemic corruption.

The report, prepared in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, presents a risk-mitigation framework consisting of actionable measures to be taken by the various parties – some by the private sector, some by the public sector and some by the two sectors jointly. Further guidance is provided in the form of 25 international best practices from different infrastructure sectors. Investors and operators could seek political-risk insurance, for example, and companies could deter government intervention by carefully crafting ownership and commercial structures. On the public-sector side, the national government could provide investors with protection by offering constitutional guarantees – for instance, by ensuring fair and fast dispute-resolution mechanisms, and by enforcing robust anti-corruption policies.

“The topic is a crucial one,” explained Pedro Rodrigues de Almeida, Director and Head of Infrastructure and Urban Development Industries at the World Economic Forum. “Unless we agree on a common language to categorize the specific types of political and regulatory risks, it will be impossible to raise awareness of the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure sector. The framework developed for risk mitigation puts in evidence the main levers that can be adjusted while eliciting the white spaces where multilateral development banks, commercial banks and insurers can create much-needed risk-mitigation instruments.”

The significance of the report is described by Bertrand Badré, Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer: “The report summarizes the impact that the different political and regulatory risk factors have on projects, and cites a wide range of examples that help explain and underpin the need for risk-mitigation tools. Importantly, the report confirms that these types of risks are encountered across a wide range of geographies; this is not a developed versus emerging economies issue.”

The report was further endorsed by John M. Beck, Executive Chairman of Aecon (Canada) and a global Co-Chair of the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. “Many of the solutions listed are of proven value,” he said. “Consider the strategy adopted by some private companies, of involving a public body as counterweight to the tendering government. In the Quito Airport case, for instance, the involvement of the Canadian government helped us to speedily resolve our differences with the Ecuadorian authorities. If the report succeeds in conveying all its innovative ideas to the right quarters, the great global infrastructure programme will prove even more productive.”

“In order for investors to confidently increase their investments in infrastructure, they need to see transparent and comparable data and processes, as well as predictable legal and regulatory frameworks that can withstand political risk,” said Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of McGraw Hill Financial, and Co-Chair of the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. “Reducing these risks can help unlock the private capital needed to bridge the global infrastructure financing gap.”

The report will continue to substantiate the globally acquired body of knowledge and experience into concrete measures that contribute to boosting strategic infrastructure development, including its dissemination through the B20 and G20.

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Nine centres worldwide recognised as IOC Research Centres for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health

Protecting athletes’ health and preventing injuries and illnesses in sport are top priorities for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Medical Commission. Nine research centres from across the world have thus been named as IOC Research Centres for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health.

These centres are:

  • Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention, Federation University Australia, Australia
  • Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Institute of Sports Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark
  • Yonsei University, Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Amsterdam Collaboration on Health & Safety in Sports, VU University and Academic Medical Centre, Netherlands
  • Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway
  • Aspetar, Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar
  • Clinical Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Group, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • London’s Institute for Sports, Exercise and Health (ISEH) and National Centre for Sports Exercise and Medicine (NCSEM), United Kingdom

Over the next four years, these centres will be tasked with researching, developing and implementing effective preventive and treatment methods for sports-related injuries and illnesses. They will receive financial support from the IOC and join an international network of expert scientists and clinicians in sports-injury and disease-prevention research.

“We are delighted to have appointed nine highly qualified centres from the four corners of the world to assist us with our mission,” commented IOC Medical Commission Chair and Executive Board member Dr Uğur Erdener. “These centres have all demonstrated that they are at the forefront of research in sports medicine and are committed to our shared goal of using knowledge and resources to ensure the athletes’ well-being so that sportsmen and women can perform at their best level with minimal risks to their health.”  

The IOC Head of Scientific Activities, Lars Engebretsen, added: “While athletes were previously active until they were 25, today they compete until they are 40 to 45 at a very high level. An injury to one of them is a major issue, so treatment and prevention have become all the more important.”

Since 2009, the IOC, under the leadership of its Medical Commission, has supported and partnered with established research centres from around the world which have demonstrated clinical, educational, and research expertise in the fields of sports medicine and elite sports to promote the athletes’ health through the prevention of injury and illness.  

Collaborating closely with the newly-appointed nine research centres, the IOC aims to further promote and protect the health of athletes by:

  • Establishing long-term research programmes on injury and disease prevention (including underlying studies on epidemiology, risk factors, and mechanisms),
  • Fostering collaborative relationships with individuals, institutions and organisations to improve athletes’ health,
  • Implementing applied, ongoing and novel research and development within the framework and long-term strategy of the IOC,
  • Setting up knowledge translation mechanisms to share scientific research results with the field throughout the Olympic Movement and sports community and to convert these results into concrete actions to protect the health of the athletes.

 

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