Focus One: Trade and Finance Linkages

Financing infrastructure in financial markets: Why civil society should be alert

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Tue, Feb 2, 2016

Financing infrastructure in financial markets: Why civil society should be alert

For the last five years, the Group of 20 (G20) has been weighing proposals to finance the “infrastructure gap” in developing countries: the more than USD1 trillion of additional investment needed to bridge the gap between existing infrastructure and the infrastructure needed in such areas as transport, energy, water, sanitation and internet connectivity to support socio-economic development.

The G20 has leaned towards proposals to attract the savings of institutional investors (mutual funds, pension funds, insurers, etc.), based on the premise that the long-term financing needs for infrastructure development are a fitting match to institutional investors’ need for long-term investment vehicles. However, such proposals have been criticised because this could induce “financialisation”, with all its consequences.

In an article written for the Heinrich Boell Foundation South African Office, RBW Project Director Aldo Caliari explains what is financialization and why it matters, what is the relevance of the new proposals to finance infrastructure to the civil society agendas on human rights, sustainable development and good governance, and what civil society can do about them.

Challenges of financing the SDGs and private sector participation

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Fri, Nov 20, 2015

Challenges of financing the SDGs and private sector participation

Past the euphoria of the Summit that adopted the Sustainable Development Goals last September, the task left is the hard one of implementation of an agenda widely seen as the most ambitious ever undertaken by the international community. What this process is likely to make more evident is that the ambition of the means of implementation was not in correlation with the ambition of the agreed agenda. In an article appeared on Brujula Ciudadana, a magazine published by the Mexico-based Citizen Initiative for the Promotion of Dialogue Culture (Issue No. 72, October 2015), RBW Project Director  Aldo Caliari examines the challenges we can expect in the financing the SDGs and the participation of the private sector in the endeavor.

Read article (Only available in Spanish).

Download full publication (Caliari's article begins at page 28).

Investing in the SDGs: Whose Business? (August 2015)

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Investing in the SDGs: Whose Business? (August 2015)

The role of foreign investment in financing development has been a matter of considerable debate in the negotiations leading up to all Financing for Development (FFD) conferences. But deliberations towards the one which took place in Addis Ababa in July 2015 have seen a definite tendency to propose a greater reliance on foreign investment in financing development.

In a recent article RBW Project Director Aldo Caliari examines the Addis Ababa conference’s approach to the regulatory role of the state, the practices of using aid as an incentive to attract private sector funding, and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and institutional investors’ role in closing the infrastructure finance gap. With the transnational corporate sector more involved than ever in defining policies around sustainable development, winning the struggle for the narrative around the contribution of private capital flows to development is a crucial prize at stake in the Financing for Development negotiations in Addis Ababa and beyond.

The article appeared as part of United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)’s series “The Road to Addis.”