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ASEAN pursues increased capacity in infrastructure productivity
Australia’s Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I) initiative and the ASEAN Lead Implementing Body for Sustainable Infrastructure (LIB-SI) co-organised a pilot program workshop to support implementation of the Framework for Improving ASEAN Infrastructure Productivity on 15 and 16 August in Jakarta.
More than 50 participants attended the workshop, including representatives from LIB-SI and line ministries in charge of transport, public works, and infrastructure financing from ASEAN Member States.
LIB-SI Chair and Indonesia's Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Affairs of the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) Ervan Maksum and Australian Ambassador to ASEAN Will Nankervis delivered opening remarks.
In his remarks, LIB-SI Chair Ervan Maksum said “the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 underscores the importance of coordinating resources to deliver support across the full lifecycle of infrastructure projects in ASEAN, which includes project preparation as well as improving infrastructure productivity and capability building. It is why under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, the Framework for Improving ASEAN Infrastructure Productivity was developed.”
“The Framework will provide an avenue for sharing of knowledge, sector-specific insights, and best practices where we can learn from one another and enable policymakers to take concrete actions,” he added.
Ambassador Nankervis highlighted that the pilot program builds on Australia’s support to ASEAN in developing both the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025) and the Framework.
“Australia and ASEAN have been working together for many years to enhance infrastructure investment and productivity in the region, and to promote travel, investment and trade. This pilot training program responds to the needs of ASEAN Member States who requested more practical ways to implement the Framework for Improving ASEAN Infrastructure Productivity, in alignment with each country’s unique policy and regulatory environment,” he said.
During the workshop, presentations were delivered by government infrastructure experts from the region, including Infrastructure Victoria and Partnerships Victoria in Australia, the Department of Rural Roads of Thailand, and the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) of Indonesia. Best-practice examples and interactive ‘hands-on’ exercises were also used to apply the Framework on a hypothetical road project scenario.
The pilot aims to build capacity amongst ASEAN Member States to better understand and implement the Framework for Improving ASEAN Infrastructure Productivity. Three of the Framework’s seven productivity workstreams were the focus of the pilot: public investment management, streamlined project implementation, and enhancing productivity of existing assets – each identified by ASEAN as priorities.
Ahead of the pilot program, LIB-SI and P4I held remote and in-person consultations with relevant agencies to ensure the training program was tailored to ASEAN Member States’ context.
The Framework for Improving ASEAN Infrastructure Productivity seeks to enhance skills in infrastructure planning, delivery, and operation. It was developed by ASEAN in 2020 with support from the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II. To strengthen capacity of ASEAN Member States, LIB-SI explored cooperation with Australia and P4I in 2022 to support the implementation of the Framework, including through the development and design of a pilot program, using hypothetical infrastructure work and scenarios.