Hannah Wurf
The G20 is committed to promoting infrastructure investment and has called on multilateral development banks (MDBs) to increase their infrastructure lending to help boost global growth. Alongside long-standing MDBs such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), new MDBs such as the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank have been established, and G20 members would like both old and new multilateral banks to scale up their infrastructure investment by developing a pipeline of bankable projects. Even with all the MDBs investing more, they will not be able to satisfy the global need for infrastructure. What they can do, however, is start to fill the infrastructure gap by catalyzing private investment and cooperating on standards and regional infrastructure. Concerns have been raised about the geo-political implications of the new MDBs which underscore the need for MDB cooperation. There are challenges to and opportunities for this cooperation. The G20 needs to be clear about the role it can play in encouraging MDB cooperation and infrastructure investment, and must also be aware of the limitations on its role given that each MDB has its own mandate. Specifically, the G20 can downplay the perceived trade-off between efficiency and standards in the MDBs, encourage cooperation on new standards for sustainable or green infrastructure, invest in the Global Connectivity Alliance as a coordinating body for the MDBs and help align the G20 work on infrastructure with the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda
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