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Key takeaways from the 9th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum

Key takeaways from the 9th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum
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The 9th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum (IIICF), guided by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao S.A.R, and jointly organised by the China International Contractors Association (“CHINCA”) and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, was held at the Venetian Macao from 7 to 8 June.

More than 1,500 politicians, businessmen and academics from more than 60 countries and regions, including more than 50 government officials at the ministerial level or above from over 30 countries/regions joined the two-day event. The event was highly regarded and well received by the international enterprises and local industry. One main panel session, 2 thematic forums and 11 parallel panels and other activities were held at the 9th IIICF. In addition, the 4th China-LAC Infrastructure Cooperation Forum hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China was held concurrently. During the event, the Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (2018) (BRIDI) and the Annual Report on Development of “the Belt and Road” Construction (2018), known as the barometer of the infrastructure in countries along the “Belt and Road”, was released to provide China and the countries along the “Belt and Road” with statistical information and future prospects related to the development of infrastructure and business co-operation.

Some of the key findings from the Index Report are as follow:

  1. The BRIDI reached a new high of 124 – a promising picture that shows a growth of cross-border infrastructure projects, providing huge opportunity for international contractors and investors. The Index forecasts a stable upward trend in the next three years.
  2. Southeast Asia maintains strong momentum in infrastructure development – Indonesia continues to be the top country for the second year in a row, followed by Singapore and then Pakistan. Ranking of Portuguese-speaking countries increased due to the large amount of investment into Brazil, the rank of which jumped to the fifth.
  3. Transport and energy remain the top sectors for international infrastructure development – the output of the transport sector jumped by 7.9% to US$232.15 billion across B&R countries, outpaced the growth rate of gross infrastructure output. There is a strong growth in the energy sector as well, the output grew by 13.1% to US$217.78 billion.

The 9th IIICF took “Fostering New Divers of Development to Boost Infrastructure Construction and Connectivity” as its theme, and discussed, in the international context where new drivers of development are replacing the old ones, how to cultivate infrastructure development and international co-operation through innovation, technological changes and mode transformation to promote the connectivity among the Belt and Road countries.

The financial and construction industries of Macao also served as co-organisers. During the event, a networking breakfast for Macao and Mainland enterprises was arranged to enhance the connection between Macao and Mainland enterprises and to help them seize the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road infrastructure projects. At the same time, the parallel panel on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, and the Seminar on the Infrastructure Construction between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries took place. The Forum has become an important platform for Macao’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative and help Macau to develop its financial services industry and other industries.

Over the years the breadth and depth of the Forum’s topics and the level of participants have been continuously improved. Statistics show that, even prior to the 9th IIICF, more than 1,000 Chinese and foreign heavyweight speakers were invited and more than 10,000 guests from 60 countries and regions had joined this forum, including 191 ministerial-level officials in charge of infrastructure. More than 110 forums and special events were held, over 560 business meetings were arranged and a total of 54 co-operation agreements (contracts) were signed, covering hydropower, roads, railways, airports, ports, housing and other infrastructure projects. At present, some projects are being implemented with satisfying progress.