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Synopsis

As countries in Southeast Asia continue to grow, it is estimated that large investments of approximately US$210 billion a year through to 2030 will be needed to build sustainable infrastructure. Infrastructure investments in ASEAN are currently driven by governments, and there is a need for greater private sector involvement and multilateral institutions to help bridge the infrastructure development gap. The challenges ahead to address climate change will require massive investments into clean and renewable energy, climate resilient and sustainable cities, and make a compelling case for a regional, integrated approach in sustainable investment. To ensure long-term sustainable impact, there must be a common understanding of what defines sustainability and the relevant environmental and social factors to consider. 

In this context, the EU launched its Global Gateway initiative in 2021, a contribution to narrowing the global investment gap in infrastructure worldwide. It aims to mobilise up to €300 billion of investment funding from the EU and its member states, and focuses on the digital sector, healthcare, transport, climate and energy, and education and research. The Global Gateway’s priorities in ASEAN are the green transition and sustainable connectivity, with the EU aiming to mobilise €10 billion in investments specifically for these purposes. 

The European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) is the main financial tool to mobilise investments under the Global Gateway, and ensures worldwide coverage for blending, guarantees and other financial operations. It also raises financial resources for sustainable development from the private sector for inclusive economic development.  

As a highly-developed city-state, Singapore has experience in funding infrastructure projects through private-public partnerships, and as such is well-positioned as a hub for infrastructure financing. It has developed a robust infrastructure ecosystem, bringing together developers, master planners, financiers, professional services and other supporting services. Many Singapore companies (both private and government-linked) have world-renowned expertise in areas such as project structuring, management, financing and investment, and have a good understanding of regional markets, and thus are well-placed to work with partners like the EU to serve Asia’s infrastructure needs and unlock the region’s infrastructure potential. The government has also set up Infrastructure Asia (InfraAsia), to serve as a facilitation office in supporting Asia’s social and economic growth through infrastructure development. 

Beyond infrastructure, there are several areas where Singapore and Team Europe could cooperate under the Global Gateway to engage with Southeast Asia, for example, to develop sustainable and liveable cities, provide sustainable finance and promote sustainability standards, invest in climate mitigation and adaptation and other green investments, and to promote connectivity within the region. 

This EU-Singapore Dialogue intends to present the Global Gateway approach and priorities under the Southeast Asia context, provide the case for sustainable and responsible investments, and explore the opportunities available for the private and institutional actors.

 

Programme

1.30 pm Registration and Networking
2.00 pm Opening by Emcee
2.05 pm Opening Remarks by H.E. Iwona Piórko, EU Ambassador to Singapore
2.20 pm Keynote Speech and Presentation by Dr Kay Parplies, Senior Economist and Head of Unit for External Action Guarantees at DG INTPA (International Partnership)
2.40 pm Panel Discussion 1: Priorities for connectivity, stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia and how can the Global Gateway help address them
Moderator: Professor Yeo Lay Hwee, Director, European Union Centre Singapore
Panellists:    
– 
Dr Kay Parplies, Senior Economist and Head of Unit for External Action Guarantees at DG INTPA (International Partnership)
– 
Dr Terry van Gevelt, Associate Professor of Urban Sustainability and Lee Kong Chian Fellow at the College of Integrative Studies, Singapore Management University (SMU)
– 
Ms Shi Min Tan, Director and Head of Markets and Ecosystem Development Division
Sustainability Group, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) 
– Ms 
Victoria Hilda Rigby Delmon, Regional Upstream and Advisory Head, Infrastructure, Asia Pacific, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
3.20 pm Q&A for Panel 1
3.40 pm Coffee Break
4.00 pm Presentation by Ms Sunita Lukkhoo, Head of EIB for Southeast Asia and the Pacific
4.20 pm Panel discussion 2: How can institutional and private sector play a role in scaling up sustainable investments? 
Moderator: Mr Federico Donato, Managing Partner, MG Partners MFO Singapore /  Past President, European Chamber of Commerce (Singapore)
Panellists:    
–  
Ms Sunita Lukkhoo, Head of EIB for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, European Investment Bank (EIB)
–  
Mr Abhishek Badkul, Regional Co-Head – ASEAN and Australia, Project & Export Finance, Standard Chartered Singapore
–  
Mr Marat Zapparov, Chief Executive Officer, Pentagreen Capital
–  
Mr Maurits Fliehe Boeschoten, Senior Advisor, FMO: Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank
5.00 pm Q&A for Panel 2
5.20 pm Closing Remarks
5.30 pm Networking Reception

The organisers reserve the right to change the programme content without giving prior notification or any reasons thereof.

 


 

Speakers

Dr Kay Parplies
International Partnerships
Head of Unit, External Action Guarantees
European Commission

Dr Kay Parplies is the Head of Unit for External Action Guarantees in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships. The main recent focus of his work has been the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), a EUR 40bn guarantee programme to bring additional investment to developing countries in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Kay’s previous postings in the Commission include lead roles in the Economics and Finance, Trade and Competition departments.

Before joining the European Commission in 2000, Kay worked at NatWest Markets’ project finance and advisory division. He holds a PhD in industrial economics from Cambridge University and a MSc in Economics and Finance from Warwick University.

 

Ms Sunita Lukkhoo
Head of EIB for Southeast Asia and the Pacific
European Investment Bank (EIB)

Sunita Lukkhoo currently holds the position of Head of Regional Representation for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Her journey within the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been marked by notable roles, including her prior role as the Principal Advisor in the Western Balkans Division and her leadership in the Global relationship for lending in Croatia.

Sunita embarked on her professional journey as an accountant with the European Investment Fund, a part of the EIB Group. Over the course of six years, she honed her skills and knowledge at the European Investment Fund before transitioning to the EIB in 2003.

From 2003 to 2020, Sunita demonstrated her expertise as the Country Manager for lending in South Asia & Pacific at the EIB, the European Union’s financing institution.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University and is a qualified Accountant with ACCA certification. Sunita Lukkhoo also serves as a Strategic Board member of the Indian Business Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg, underscoring her commitment to fostering international business relations and advancing the interests of her community.

 

Panellists

Mr Abhishek Badkul
Regional Co-Head – ASEAN and Australia, Project & Export Finance
Standard Chartered Singapore

Abhishek has over 25 years of structured debt and investment banking experience. For the past twenty years he has been with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) in Singapore and Dubai advising, structuring, and arranging project financing for deals in South East Asia, North Asia, Australia, and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) regions. Current role at SCB involves co-leading a team focused on project finance deals in ASEAN, Greater China and Australia across a wide spectrum of sectors. Prior experience includes Equity Analyst at ABN AMRO covering Indian Oil & Gas sector and Corporate Finance specialist at Bharat Petroleum (an Indian Oil & Gas company). Abhishek has acquired MBA from London Business School, Chartered Accountancy and Bachelor of Commerce (both from India) qualifications.

 

Mr Marat Zapparov
Chief Executive Officer
Pentagreen Capital

Marat is responsible for all the activities of Pentagreen Capital, a debt financing platform backed by Temasek and HSBC, for sustainable infrastructure in Asia, including strategy, team oversight, origination and execution and other initiatives. Marat brings close to two decades of experience including over 15 years in infrastructure, energy and real assets investments and financing. Prior to Pentagreen Capital, Marat was head of the Asia Upstream unit at the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) within the manufacturing, agribusiness and services industry group, tasked with developing early-stage interventions and bankable projects across sustainable mobility, decarbonisation, waste and circular economy in South East and South Asia. Previously Marat was Senior Director of Infrastructure at Clifford Capital in Singapore and held roles in the HSBC Resources and Energy project finance group in Hong Kong and the KPMG Global Infrastructure group in London.
 
Marat holds a BSc in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Southampton in the UK and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

 

Mr Maurits Fliehe Boeschoten
Senior Advisor
FMO: Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank

Maurits Fliehe Boeschoten works in FMO’, the Dutch development bank, Financial Institutions department within Structured Finance and is the principal designer of NASIRA, a blended layered risk sharing facility within development countries and emerging markets. NASIRA was the first signed under the previous EFSD program and is currently supporting 17 Financial Institutions and Fintech’s in Africa, Caucasus and the Middle East. FMO has 2 programs under the EFSD program and several prospective programs under EFSD+.

Maurits has more than 15+ years of experience in the financial and capital markets. He has worked in structured finance for, among others, Moody’s Investors Service, ABNAMRO and NATIXIS.

 

Ms Shi Min Tan
Director and Head of Markets and Ecosystem Development Division
Sustainability Group
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

In the current role, Ms Tan oversees the formulation of strategies to drive the growth of sustainable finance markets and solutions in Singapore, and positioning Singapore’s financial sector to capture regional opportunities arising from Asia’s transition towards net zero. This includes leading initiatives to develop carbon markets and transition credits, as well as transition finance markets in Singapore.

Prior to this, Ms Tan was in various roles in MAS including overseeing the formulation of regulatory policies for retail payment systems and payment services, as well as banks such as digital banks.

Ms Tan spent eight years in the development function of MAS, setting strategic development plans for the insurance sector and building financial cooperation and relations between Singapore and China in the Beijing Representative Office of MAS. She was also working under the Managing Director’s office responsible for supporting the MD of MAS in coordinating strategic corporate development, leadership engagements and Board meetings.

 

Dr Terry van Gevelt
Associate Professor of Urban Sustainability and Lee Kong Chian Fellow at the College of Integrative Studies
Singapore Management University

Terry van Gevelt is Associate Professor of Urban Sustainability and Lee Kong Chian Fellow at the College of Integrative Studies, Singapore Management University. His current research programme focuses on communicating the impacts of complex and uncertain climate impacts to diverse stakeholders; and examining how technical solutions to sustainability challenges operate within the wider social, economic, and institutional context. Terry is currently Lead Principal Investigator for a Climate Impact Science Research Programme grant (S$1.49 million) funded by the National Environment Agency, Singapore. His research has been published in leading interdisciplinary journals including Nature Climate Change, Global Environmental Change and Environmental Science and Policy. Terry holds MPhil and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge.

 

Ms Victoria Hilda Rigby Delmon
Regional Upstream and Advisory Head, Infrastructure, Asia Pacific
International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Victoria is the Regional Upstream and Advisory Head, Infrastructure, Asia Pacific – based in Singapore. Victoria brings over 30 years of experience in infrastructure finance, M&A and structuring of infrastructure projects, with extensive private sector experience in water & wastewater, transport and solid waste sectors spanning Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South and East Asia Pacific. She started her career at the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, Paris and Frankfurt, then as in-house international counsel at the utility company Veolia Environnement and prior to joining IFC, spent over 10 years with the World Bank.

In her present role, she leads a team focused on creating markets and developing a pipeline of bankable infrastructure projects in Asia, particularly in evolving segments such as third party logistics, green hydrogen, decarbonization, sustainable waste solutions, electrification of transport, green data centres and sustainable linked financing, working with public and private sector clients and collaborating closely with the World Bank. 

Victoria co-edited the book “International Project Finance and PPPs” (Kluwer/ Aspen Publishing) and has co-authored publications on private participation in infrastructure, incentive-based regulation and commercial finance.

Victoria holds an MA in law from Oxford University (UK).

 

Moderators

Dr Yeo Lay Hwee
Director, 
European Union Centre Singapore

Dr Yeo Lay Hwee is Director of the EU Centre, Vice-Chair of ASEAN Cham-EU, Senior Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies. She also teaches part-time at the National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University.

Dr Yeo has extensive policy interest and expertise on EU-ASEAN / ASEM and Asia-Europe relations, and on the broader academic studies on regionalism, multilateralism and global governance.

Lay Hwee also sits on several academic Advisory Boards including Centre for European Studies at the Australian National University, Leiden Asia Centre in Leiden University and Asian Vision Institute in Cambodia. She participates actively in policy dialogue, workshops and various academic research networks, and contributes articles and opinion pieces to both academic publications and online policy platforms. Her most recent book which she co-edited with Professor Tommy Koh is on ASEAN-EU Partnership: the Untold Story.

 

Mr Federico Donato
Managing Partner, MG Partners MFO Singapore
Past President, European Chamber of Commerce (Singapore)

Federico is the Managing Partner of MG Partners MFO Singapore, a multi-family office advising entrepreneurial families globally, headquartered in Switzerland and with offices in Italy, Singapore and the Principate of Monaco.
He serves as strategic advisor and board member to listed and non-listed companies and is a council member of institutions including Singapore Business Federation, Eurocham Singapore, and EU Asean Business Council.
Federico has been President of both the European and the Italian Chambers of Commerce in Singapore for two terms each. Before opening the Singapore office of MG Partners, Federico spent twenty years in the banking industry covering different roles in major global players including Credit Suisse, Intesa Sanpaolo and UBI Bank, and developed an extensive experience in the wide spectrum of the wealth management industry becoming an expert in family business and advising Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, MNCs, Institutions and Pension Funds.

In the last ten years Federico has been involved in many industry engagements and the public private dialogue that brough to the entry into force of the EU Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the EU Singapore Partnership. Since several years Federico become a convinced advocate of the Sustainable agenda, leveraging on the strong focus of European businesses and institutions on this matter.

Federico graduated in financial markets at Bocconi University in Finance and was visiting student at Stern School of Business, New York University.

 


EVENT RECORDING

If you would like to watch the video recording of the EU-Singapore Dialogue: Facilitating Green and Sustainable Investments in Southeast Asia via the Global Gateway event, please watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQUj6uuwAFA&ab_channel=EUInSingapore

Thank you.


 

POST-EVENT

 

On 25th January, EuroCham, in partnership with the European Union Delegation to Singapore, organised an event on “Facilitating Green and Sustainable Investments in Southeast Asia via the Global Gateway”.

As countries in Southeast Asia continue to grow, they must not only adapt to climate change caused largely by greenhouse gases emitted over decades, but they must also alter development strategies that are increasingly contributing to global warming. There is an estimate of US$210 billion a year through 2030 needed to build sustainable regional infrastructure.

Infrastructure investments in the region are currently driven by governments, however, they alone can’t fill the gap. Mobilizing private capital on a large scale will be key to achieving the region’s climate objectives. Combining public and private capital offers unique advantages by reducing investment risk and attracting greater funding. In this context, the EU launched its Global Gateway initiative in 2021 – one that brings together a range of European public and private actors to help finance and launch more than 120 projects around the world this year alone. It aims to mobilise up to €300 billion of investment funding in the digital sector, healthcare, transport, education & research and climate & energy worldwide and 10 billion to help ASEAN on its journey to green transition and sustainable connectivity. As a highly-developed city-state, Singapore has experience in funding infrastructure projects through private-public partnerships and is therefore well positioned to act as a hub for infrastructure financing.

We would like to express our utmost gratitude to H.E. Iwona Piórko (EU Ambassador to Singapore) for an inspiring address. Thank you to our keynote speakers Dr Kay Parplies (European Commission) and Ms Sunita Lukkhoo (European Investment Bank (EIB)) for all the insights and knowledge shared on the Global Gateway initiative and EIB organisation.

Our moderators, Prof Lay Hwee Yeo (SIIA) and Mr Federico Donato (EuroCham), skillfully weaved a very vibrant discussion on the many opportunities the Global Gateway has to offer. The discussion led to current investment opportunities and the funding and blending approaches of sustainable and responsible investments and concluded with a very lively Q&A session. Thank you to the panellists, Dr Terry van Gevelt (Singapore Management University), Ms Shi Min Tan (Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)), Ms Victoria Delmon (IFC – International Finance Corporation), Mr Abhishek Badkul (Standard Chartered Bank), Mr Marat Zapparov (Pentagreen Capital) and Mr Maurits Fliehe Boeschoten (FMO – Dutch entrepreneurial development bank) for your time and insights shared.

We would like to thank all who joined us, from Singapore and overseas, and made this event a successful one!