G20 finance ministers, business leaders discuss infrastructure

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Finance ministers and business leaders from G20 nations today discussed ways to boost investment in infrastructure, which needs an estimated $ 57 trillion through 2030.

"There is a need to develop plans between business and government, financial institutions, and the community in which we live and work, to get this expenditure on infrastructure happening, because I think that the dividend for developed and developing countries would be significant," B20 Chair Richard Goyder said in his opening remarks to B20 and G20 roundtable.

The B20, a grouping of business leaders of G20 nations, cited McKinsey Global Institute's estimate of at least $ 57 trillion needed to finance infrastructure projects worldwide through 2030 to meet the demands of global economic growth.

Australia Treasurer Joe Hockey said his country has a pipeline of new infrastructure needs, valued at $ 400 billion, over the next few years.

"In the next six years, the government will be spending $ 39 billion on new infrastructure, particularly in our major cities. But there is lot of work to do, and the job is never ending," Hockey said in his remarks, posted on the G20 website.

Addressing a press conference, Hockey said the challenge of infrastructure is very significant, not just for the developing world but for the developed world as well.

"Governments around the world haven't got the money that is going to address the infrastructure needs of both the developing and developed world, so we need to facilitate private sector investment," he said.

Hockey said the private sector, both in the US and Australia, is very well resourced at the moment and there is a need to facilitate that investment.

At the roundtable, B20 Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce Coordinating Chair David Thodey said there is a need to focus on the key impediments to private sector investment in infrastructure.

"We think the trust is very important. I know that at times may be the community thinks the private sector is there just to make money. We are not. We are here to be a part of a long-term strategy," Thodey said.

The benefits to an economy for every $ 1 billion invested is 8,000 jobs. This represents potential to generate between 500 million and 1 billion jobs over the next two decades, the B20 has said.

The G20 nations comprise rich and developing countries, including India.


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