Toru Tokuhisa, Director General
Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Institute
“Infrastructure in East Asia and the Pacific: The Way Forward”
Second Workshop in Bali, 27-29 June 2004
Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen. Let me say a few words on behalf of
Japan Bank for International Cooperation, or JBIC.
First of all, I am very pleased that such a large number of participants have kindly joined
in this workshop today. I sincerely welcome all of you. I also would like to express my deep
appreciation for the World Bank’s efforts in hosting and arranging this Bali workshop, with
special thanks to Mr. Andrew Steer and his team in Jakarta for their hard work to prepare
for this workshop.
We started this joint study, Infrastructure in East Asia and the Pacific: The Way Forward,
back in September 2003. Since then, in cooperation with the World Bank and Asian
Development Bank, we have gone through a deep and comprehensive discussion about
various factors affecting infrastructure provision in East Asia and the Pacific. We have also
consulted with Japanese Government, which fully supports this study.
In addition, we have received a great number of insightful suggestions and comments on
the study from a variety of stakeholders through the course of our study including the first
workshop in Manila and the launch seminar in Tokyo last January. In these occasions, we
had many participants from various stakeholders in both public and private sectors, NGOs,
academia, etc. The participants shared and reconfirmed the view that infrastructure has
an important role to play for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, and that
this study would be very timely and promising for sound and sustainable development of
infrastructure in this region in the coming years. I believe that this study can and should
meet these expectations.
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Based on these debates and consultations, we three institutions have elaborated the terms
of references for the background papers for the key topics of this study, and commenced the
research work. At this juncture, we have started to see some concrete progress of these
background studies as intermediate products and we would like to share these in this
workshop. For example, according to one of the research teams of the background studies,
the experiences of urbanization in this region shows that the timing of infrastructure
investment would be most critical for ensuring the sustainable growth in urban areas. If
the right timing of investment is missed, the provision of infrastructure in the urban sector
is obliged to become too remedial that the cost of such infrastructure becomes too high.
This will be presented in the Session 1 this morning.
This study is also to address the needs of private firms as infrastructure users. In this
context, we have focused on Japanese manufacturing companies since they are one of the
major infrastructure users as well as major providers of foreign direct investment in this
region. It is generally agreed that satisfactory provision of infrastructure is an important
element of good investment climate in a developing country. But, it is not necessarily clear
what kind of infrastructure is important for what type of business concretely. Such case for
Japanese manufacturing companies will be discussed in one of the background papers.
This kind of assessment has not been done in a comprehensive manner in the past. So I
expect that this background paper will contribute to the whole study by providing a more
concrete picture of infrastructure needs of private enterprises.
Of course these are just a few examples. Throughout this workshop, we expect to find new
ideas and practices on infrastructure provision and finance. Although we are beginning to
see certain findings of the background studies, we have not yet reached any final
conclusion. We are still in a process to produce a final outcome. Therefore, I would like to
ask all of you in this room to participate in the discussions as much as possible and help
make this study as workable as possible in the real world. Your active contribution based
on your actual development experiences and challenges is indispensable for the effective
elaboration of the final report to be ready by next January, and I wish that the following
two days will be as informative, fruitful and meaningful as possible.
Thank you for your kind attention.
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