MDBs, DFIs Should Direct More Capital Toward Infrastructure Projects To Achieve SDGs

Project Syndicate: A New Approach to Infrastructure Finance
Justin Yifu Lin, director of the Center for New Structural Economics, dean of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, and honorary dean at the National School of Development at Peking University; Håvard Halland, visiting scholar at the Stanford Global Projects Center (GPC); and Yan Wang, senior fellow at the Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University

“…To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world’s multilateral development banks (MDBs) and their private-sector branches, the [development finance institutions (DFIs)], have committed to increasing private-sector finance by as much as 35 percent over the next three years. … Yet they have made only limited investments in infrastructure equity … To increase their impact, MDBs and DFIs need to direct far more capital toward infrastructure projects in the preparation and construction stages, when the private sector invests less. … If the private sector won’t fill this void, then the onus is on MDBs and DFIs … MDBs and DFIs have rightly increased their efforts to mobilize private capital. A shift toward early-stage equity investment in infrastructure, and engagement with strategic investment funds, could significantly strengthen their capacity on this front, and increase the likelihood of the world achieving the SDGs” (3/13).