Deal signed to help infrastructure gap


THE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with pension, provident and sovereign funds who are members of the Pacific Islands Investment Forum (PIIF), with the aim of helping bridge the infrastructure investment gap in the region.
IFC and PIIF in a recent joint statement noted that PIIF’s membership collectively owned more than US$8 billion (K27.47bil) worth of assets.
The infrastructure gap in the region amounts to an estimated US$45 billion (K154.52bil) over 12 years.
“During times of crisis, PIIF member funds are regularly called upon to provide economic and social support across a range of areas,” PIIF chairman and Samoa National Provident Fund chief executive Pauli Prince Suhren said.
“So, we aim to share the results of this survey among our member funds as we adapt in this unprecedented environment.
“We’re also working with IFC to help achieve our long-term vision of cross-border investment in the region, to deliver better infrastructure and services and, most importantly, better returns for the people who’re members of our funds.”
The co-operation agreement with IFC would allow PIIF to explore co-investment opportunities with IFC and also opportunities for funds to go beyond their own borders and invest in other countries’ industries, services and infrastructure.
“In the Pacific, these funds play a dominant role in financial systems and are major employers, so it’s important not only to assess the impact now of Covid-19, but also to look to the future and work on ways to allow for greater co-investments across the Pacific,” IFC country manager – Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands, Thomas Jacobs, said.