Rome, September 27th 2021 – From Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 September, the G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) is convening in Genoa for a three-day meeting. The Group, one of the six working groups of the G20 Finance Track, will advance on its agenda ahead of the next G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, which will take place on 13 October in Washington.
Discussions started on Monday 27 September with the G20 High-Level Conference on Local Infrastructure Investment organised by the Italian G20 Presidency, together with the Municipality of Genoa and the Istituto Affari Internazionali.
The high-level conference offered the opportunity to discuss which role local authorities could play in both infrastructure asset management and in the provision of services. The event was marked by the presence of high-level representatives of the Italian government, including Daniele Franco, Minister of Economy and Finance, Enrico Giovannini, Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, and Roberto Cingolani, Minister for Ecological Transition.
The Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, and the President of Liguria, Giovanni Toti, warmly welcomed an audience of some 200 in-person participants – plus some 150 connected remotely – composed of representatives of local authorities from G20 countries, international organizations, multilateral development banks and C-level private sector key actors.
Genoa, hosting one of the major seaports of Italy, and recently jumped to the news as an example of effective private-public cooperation in infrastructure investments for the reconstruction of the Genoa Saint George Bridge, represented the ideal venue for a debate on these matters.
The participants expressed unanimous consensus on the significant role local authorities can play in planning and developing future infrastructure. In fact, they could provide a unique bottom-up perspective, shedding a light on opportunities that may not be adequately considered by national policymakers.
Many participants highlighted that looking at infrastructure investments through local lenses means addressing a diverse array of challenges, such as constraint budgets, insufficient resources or capacity, extra-layer of red tape or bureaucratic complications especially when managing infrastructure in coordination with central governments.
A more local perspective could help narrowing the gaps for rural and remote areas, which are often lagging behind in terms of service accessibility. In this context, local experiences may present best practices that could promote and contribute to a better calibration of national and supranational policies, in particular after the pandemic.
The 2021 G20 High-Level Conference on Local Infrastructure Investment was organised on the eve of the 6th G20 IWG meeting, taking place on 28-29 September 2021 also in Genoa. G20 IWG members will progress on their work, aiming to foster investments in quality infrastructures, as the international community recognize this is crucial to spur economic recovery and set the ground for a sustainable and inclusive growth. The COVID-19 crisis has shown to what extent reliable and high-quality infrastructure systems are critical to respond to unexpected external shocks and to deliver quality services to the entire population.
You can watch the G20 High-Level Conference on Local Infrastructure Investment, here.