The Business Assembly is a key session of the Seventh AsiaPacific Urban Forum, bringing together leadership from business, industry, investment, startups and philanthropies from around the region.
It is widely recognised that increased private and commercial investment is needed to fill the sustainable infrastructure gap around the world. Some estimates put the housing affordability gap at USD 650 billion per year or 1% of globalGDP; while the urban infrastructure financing gap sits aroundUSD 2.5 trillion annually.
Urban projects, however, are rarely viewed by investors as aligning with their risk profile, adhering to their time horizons or as having the highest rate of return. For this reason, mobilising blended capital and financial instruments to achieve the urban SDGs is a complex process that is only possible through continued engagement, frank discussion and improved partnerships. At the same time, achieving the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda will not be possible without the key contribution and engagement of the business community.
Building on UN-Habitat’s broadening scope of work with business and existing regional private sector networks, theAPUF7 Business Assembly aims to facilitate this continued engagement, while bringing together key thought leaders from businesses that are decision-makers in the urban space.
The Business Assembly will highlight the role that private and commercial investors play in sustainable urbanization, and emphasise how blended financing models can be used to fill this gap. It will also attempt to facilitate exchanges between cities, planners and private and commercial investors with interest in the urban space.
This Assembly encourages breaking down of the term ‘private sector’ into its each of its contingent stakeholder groups. Considering the diversity and economic strength of the region, the Assembly will have representatives from the following sectors focusing on elements of urbanization:
The overarching theme of the Business Assembly is the impending shift towards including urban sustainability metrics in business decisions throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Private finance is central to all five priority areas of coordinated action for sustainable urbanization laid out in the New Urban Agenda including: national urban policies, urban legal frameworks, integrated urban and territorial planning and design, financing and strengthening the urban economy and local implementation. While it is important to gauge how the diverse set of business stakeholders are already implementing the New Urban Agenda and the urban dimensions of the SDGs in much of their work, it is also critical to address the bankability of projects developed in local and regional authorities.
Within this context and from a regional perspective, theAssembly aims to explore:
The session will feed into the Cities Investment Platform at the 10th Session of the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi,February 8 – 13, 2020. This ‘pilot’ session will provide the opportunities for city and regional leadership to pitch their sustainable urbanization projects to a panel of investors and experts from across the business/investor space.
9:00 – 10:00 Opening
10:00 – 10:30 Mayors on Business
10:30 – 10:45 COFFEE BREAK
10:45 – 11:00 Capital Advisory Platform
11:00 – 11:30 Thought leaders in sustainability – Back-to-back Keynotes
11:30 – 12:30 Panel 1: Private equity / equity markets
12:30 – 13:00 Open discussion
13:00 – 14:00 LUNCH
14:00 – 15:00 Panel 2: Market intermediaries
15:00 – 15:30 Open Discussion
15:30 – 16:30 Panel 3: Players in urban regeneration
16:30 – 16:45 Open Discussion
16:45 – 17:00 Closing
17:00 – 18:30 Business reception
Think City NGO
Invest Penang Market Intermediaries
Urbanice Malaysia Urban Regeneration
Kottackal Business Solutions Market Intermediaries
EIX Market Intermediaries
HSBC Amenah Market Intermediaries
Government Link Company (GLC) Equity
ARUP Urban Regeneration
Sime Darby Urban Regeneration
Urban Metry Urban Regeneration
ESCAP Sustainable Business Council NGO
NGOAsia Mobility Industries Market Intermediaries
Yangon City Development Committee Government
World Business Council for Sustainable Development NGO
UN Global Compact Cities Programme NGO
Gateway LLP Market Intermediaries
Khazanah Nasional Berhad Equity
What is it that they see as challenges?Could an urban SDG compliance certification be used to help de-risk projects and provide guarantees? How can a relevant marketplace be developed?
What does it take for private equity to take an active interest in urban projects? What are the barriers to entry? How do they view risk differently? (Eg. pension funds /sovereign wealth funds)
What opportunities have they found that are risk and return opportunities? (E.g. Land lease, user fees, renewables, circular, resource management)