Public-private partnerships key to advances in Asia-Pacific region – Ban Ki-moon

Public-private partnerships key to advances in Asia-Pacific region – Ban Ki-moon

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Partnerships between governments and the private sector are key to fostering development in the Asia-Pacific region, which is home to more than half the world's people and accounts for a quarter of international trade, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

“Beyond the accountability of Governments to their electorate, and the responsibility of companies to their shareholders, we have a joint mission to give citizens of this region the tools to create their own prosperity,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the Ministerial Conference on Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Development, being held in Seoul with support from the Republic of Korea Government and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

He also emphasized the importance of global antipoverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by “developing adequate infrastructure for transport, energy, water and health services.”

That, in turn, “requires investments, goods and expertise that cannot be provided by the public sector alone,” he pointed out.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the financial requirements for infrastructure development are estimated at $200 billion per year over the next five years. “Today, we see can see public-private partnerships enabling businesses around the world to actively and productively contribute to critical infrastructure projects,” the Secretary-General said.

He emphasized the importance of transparency and trust in this process, and noted that through the UN Global Compact – “the world's largest corporate citizenship initiative” – the world body is working with business, governments and civil society to “advance notions of corporate responsibility, thereby establishing an atmosphere of accountability and trust that allows for more collaborative solution-finding.”