The Why, Where, and How of Infrastructure Investment

IMF Seminar

imf seminars event

DATE: April 17, 2015

DAY: Friday

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

LOCATION: George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium

Friday, April 17 AT 09 00 AM

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Infrastructure investment is increasingly being recognized as critical for economic growth and welfare. The existence of large infrastructure gaps across a large and varied set of countries reflects a combination of institutional and financial constraints, as well as the pressure from rising demand. Infrastructure investment has the potential for increasing efficiency and competitiveness, and to promote both international linkages and domestic integration inside countries. Despite a potentially large pool of long-term saving available, securing the necessary financing on adequate terms is often a challenge, reflecting in part issues related to the appropriability of the returns to infrastructure investment, government finance constraints, regulatory risks, and long gestation periods. A key issue in confronting these difficulties is how to define the roles of the private and public sectors in such a way that infrastructure gaps can be closed while ensuring good service delivery and protecting both investors’ and taxpayers’ interests. The panel will first discuss the importance of infrastructure investment and of choosing the right projects in a context of competing objectives and limited resources. Next, discussions will turn to the challenges of channeling the global savings pool into long-term investment, and the regulatory and fiscal reforms need to encourage investment in infrastructure. The panel discussion is expected to identify and assess factors and policies to facilitate infrastructure investment and financing while preserving fiscal sustainability, protecting investors’ interests, enhancing public service delivery, and promoting jobs and growth.

Broadcast event: No video or flash photography permitted for this session


The Why, Where, and How of Infrastructure Investment


Moderator: Ali Velshi


Ali Velshi is the host of “Ali Velshi On Target” a nightly prime-time show that speaks truth to power through debate, interview and on-the-ground reporting. He was previously the host of the nightly show  “Real Money with Ali Velshi” on Al Jazeera America. Ali Velshi joined Al Jazeera America from CNN where he was the channel’s chief business correspondent, anchor of CNN International’s “World Business Today” and the host of CNN’s weekly business roundtable “Your Money”. In 2010, Velshi was honored with a National Headliner Award for Business & Consumer Reporting for “How The Wheels Came Off.” Additionally, CNN was nominated for a 2010 Emmy for Velshi’s breaking news coverage of an attempted terror attack on a flight to Detroit. Velshi has reported extensively on the global financial meltdown; the financial collapses of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and Lehman Brothers; the U.S. government’s bailout plan; the battle over the fate of the American big three automakers; and the U.S. debt ceiling and budget debate.

Mitsuhiro Furusawa


Mitsuhiro Furusawa was appointed Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on March 2, 2015. Previously, Mr. Furusawa was Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Finance in Japan. Mr. Furusawa served as Executive Director for Japan at the International Monetary Fund from 2010 to 2012. He has served as Vice Minister for International Affairs at the Finance Ministry, and held various diplomatic positions. Mr. Furusawa studied Law at the University of Tokyo, and is also a graduate of France's Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

Joaquim Levy


Joaquim Levy took office as the Finance Minister of Brazil in early 2015. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Levy was the President of Bradesco Asset Management, a division of Bradesco, Brazil's second largest private bank. He also held various positions in government and economics, such as Secretary of Finance for Rio de Janeiro, Vice-President of Finance and Administration at the IDB, Secretary at the National Treasury, Chief Economist, Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, Deputy Secretary of Economic Policy at the Ministry of Finance, Visiting Economist at the ECB and Economist with the IMF. Mr. Levy is a graduate in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and a Master in economics from Getúlio Vargas Foundation.

Rajiv B. Lall

Rajiv B.

Dr. Rajiv B. Lall is the Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), a leading finance player in India. Prior to joining IDFC, Dr. Lall has held positions in the private sector, including with Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, and has served on the staffs of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He chairs the Global Agenda Council on Infrastructure of the World Economic Forum; chairs the Infrastructure Council and is a member of the Economic Policy Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry. Dr. Lall was India's representative to the G20 Workgroup on Infrastructure. He holds a BA from Oxford and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Geoffrey Spence


Geoffrey Spence is the Chief Executive of Infrastructure of UK.  He has worked previously both in private sector infrastructure finance and in Whitehall. Mr. Spence was also special advisor to the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, and served on the Treasury’s Council of Economic Advisors from 2008 until 2010. He has previously headed the Treasury’s PFI Policy and Private Finance unit, and been the Managing Director and Global Head of Infrastructure at HSBC.

Alonso Segura


Alonso Segura Vasi is Minister of Economy and Finance of Peru. He held various senior positions in the Ministry of Finance and the Peruvian banking sector, including in the Development Finance Corporation, Peru’s development bank. Mr. Segura has served in both the staff and the Board of the International Monetary Fund. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.