Singapore businesses support G20 infrastructure hub

Interview with Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Business Federation (SBF), one day before the Brisbane G20 Summit from Nov 15-16. The business community in Singapore has voiced its support for a global infrastructure hub bein
Interview with Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Business Federation (SBF), one day before the Brisbane G20 Summit from Nov 15-16. The business community in Singapore has voiced its support for a global infrastructure hub being planned by the world's biggest economies to boost economic growth and employment. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - The business community in Singapore has voiced its support for a global infrastructure hub being planned by the world's biggest economies to boost economic growth and employment.

Mr Ho Meng Kit, chief executive of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), told reporters on Friday that the nation has much to contribute to the hub, part of the Global Infrastructure Initiative recently agreed on by the Group of 20 (G20) countries whose leaders are meeting in Brisbane this weekend.

Australia, which led the initiative as the host of G20 this year, is open to including non-G20 member countries - such as Singapore - in the hub, Mr Ho said.

"Australia recognises Singapore's position as a key financial centre in Southeast Asia and it is quite prepared to work with Singapore," he added.

Apart from the city-state's expertise in infrastructure project financing, homegrown companies such as SMRT, Surbana and Keppel Corporation also have relevant urban development knowledge, noted Mr Ho, who is in Brisbane until Sunday to attend meetings of the B20, the G20's business counterpart.

The proposed hub aims to collect and share leading infrastructure practices globally and match investors with projects. It has been estimated to be able to drive an additional US$600 billion of economic activity and 10 million jobs a year over the long term.

Indeed, stepping up investment in infrastructure is one of the ways to address the problem of low global growth - a key task on the agenda for the Brisbane summit, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday.

PM Lee, who will be attending the G20 meetings today and tomorrow, added that Singapore has an interest in this area as the Republic plays host to an infrastructure centre of excellence.

Singapore is one of the six non-member nations invited to the G20 summit in Brisbane, which will focus on how to create jobs and spur global growth.