Roundtable for Sustainable Cities Strategy (June 25, 1000-1200), Mexican Room, Trident

Objectives and Contents

The objective of AIIB Roundtable for Sustainable Cities Strategy is a close-door consultation with stakeholders on the Bank’s preparation of Sustainable Cities Strategy, focusing on how AIIB could better support infrastructure development of cities in Asia. The Bank is keen to solicit comments and contributions from both senior city representatives and urban development experts.

Infrastructure investment to support the sustainable development of Asian cities is urgent. As more Asian cities become engines of national growth and hubs of trade, infrastructure will be a key contributor for ensuring the connectivity, productivity, efficiency and overall competitiveness of these cities. As Asia’s urban population grows, not only will new cities and new urban districts need to be developed, but existing cities will also need to be re-tooled. Many Asian cities today experience inadequate access to water and sanitation, unreliable power supply, traffic congestion, air and water pollution, inefficient land use, and a lack of decent shelters especially for the low-income group, amongst others. The lack of adequate infrastructure in Asian cities has been attributed, in part, to the small fiscal revenue base, poor access to finance and weak management capacity of local administrations.

In view of the urgent need and the strong alignment to AIIB’s mandate, AIIB has identified financing infrastructure for the sustainable development of cities in Asia as a key priority. AIIB views infrastructure investments in cities to be distinctive as they are often multi-sectoral in nature and require spatial integration. This distinctive characteristic also raises the relevance and potential of innovative financing mechanisms for infrastructure investments in cities. Nevertheless, AIIB also recognizes that infrastructure investments in cities have inter-linkages with infrastructure investments in other sectors, such as energy and transport.

In this context, AIIB’s proposed areas of infrastructure investments in cities are (a) enhancing urban mobility; (b) improving basic infrastructure and city resilience; and (c) promoting integrated development. Given that AIIB is still a relatively young institution, the Bank will adopt a gradual and focused approach in its infrastructure investments in cities, and explore with clients and partners how to better work together given AIIB’s flexible sovereign and non-sovereign financing instruments.

Proposed procedures and discussion items

    The roundtable discussion will be started by a presentation of AIIB’s preliminary Sustainable Cities Strategy, followed by comments and contributions from invited speakers. The discussion is grouped into 3 themes:

  • enhancing urban mobility (such as metro and urban rail);
  • improving basic infrastructure and city resilience (such as water supply, sewerage, waste water treatment and flood management);
  • Promoting integrated development (such as industrial parks and new town development)

Key takeaways for the audience include:

  • The AIIB narrative of investing in infrastructure projects that promote elements of green, resilience, efficiency, accessibility and/or economic growth (i.e. thriving).
  • How to better work with AIIB and help shape what AIIB could do to better support client cities?


Dr. Joachim von Amsberg-Vice President, Policy and Strategy, AIIB (Moderator)

Dr. Joachim von Amsberg drives the strategic direction for the Bank, including its sectoral and country priorities, its investment strategy and programming, its economic analysis and research, and its operating budget. He oversees the Bank's environmental and social policies, other operational policies, and their implementation. He previously served in a number of progressively senior roles at the World Bank where he most recently held the position of Vice President, Development Finance where he was responsible for the replenishment and stewardship of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, and for trust fund and partnership operations.

Dr. von Amsberg holds a Ph.D. in economic policy analysis and an M.B.A. from the University of British Columbia. He also holds a M.Sc. in industrial engineering from the Technical University of Berlin. He is a national of Germany.

Mr. Kiwan Kim-Executive Director, Korea Public and Private Infrastructure Investment Management Center

Mr. Kiwan KIM is Executive Director of the PIMAC (Public and Private Infrastructure Investment Management Center) at KDI (Korea Development Institute), whose main responsibilities are to evaluate large public and PPP procurement projects and provide related policy advices to the Korean government. Prior to his current position, he served as Director of the Department of Industry and Competition Policy, KDI, and worked as Lead Economist (seconded) at the World Bank. He earned PhD degree in Social Sciences from University of Bielefeld, Germany.

Mr. Lincoln Leong-CEO, MTR Corporation

Mr Leong joined the Company in February 2002 as the Finance Director and has been a Member of the Executive Directorate since then. He was re-titled as the Finance & Business Development Director in May 2008, and was appointed as the Deputy CEO in July 2012 and the Acting CEO in August 2014. Mr Leong was appointed as the CEO in March 2015, and has been a Member of the Board since then. As the CEO, he is responsible for the Group’s overall performance in and outside of Hong Kong. Prior to joining the Company, Mr Leong worked in the accountancy and investment banking industries in London, Vancouver and Hong Kong. He is a non-executive director of Mandarin Oriental International Limited, chairman of the Quality Assurance Council of the University Grants Committee, vice-chairman of The Hong Kong Housing Society, and a vice-patron and a member of the Board of Directors of The Community Chest of Hong Kong. Mr Leong was previously an independent non-executive director of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited. He qualified as a chartered accountant in England in 1985 and Canada in 1986. Mr Leong is a chartered fellow of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (subsequently a Master of Arts degree) from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Ms. Liu Kun-Deputy General Manager, Shanghai Municipal Investment Corporation, Environment Asset Management Company

Liu Kun, Deputy General Manager of SMI Environment Asset Management Company, which is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Shanghai Municipal Investment (Group) Corporation (SMI) and the legal entity of DFV (District Financing Vehicle) created with the support of the Shanghai Municipal Government and the World Bank in 2004. Founded in 1992, SMI is one of the largest SOEs in Shanghai, focusing on the public investment, construction and operation in the road & bridge, water, environment and real estate sectors. Mrs. Liu has worked in this company since December 2007 and has been in charge of the investment and management of World Bank-financed infrastructure projects, especially the implementation of capacity building activities to enhance the management of SMI and its subsidiaries. In 2015, she led the team to provide the consulting service for Amanishah Nallah Rejuvenation Project in Jaipur, India. She is currently responsible for New Urbanization Financing and Innovation Project with the World Bank, and explores an innovative financing mechanism for infrastructure development during the new urbanization in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta Region. Prior to joining SMI, Mrs. Liu worked at Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) both in Denmark and Shanghai for near four years, where she participated in major water and environmental consulting projects financed by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. She holds a Master Degree in Environmental Engineering from Tongji University in Shanghai.

Dr. Pang Chee Meng-Director, Singapore Public Utilities Board

Dr Pang Chee Meng is currently the Director of the Industry Development Department in PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. In this role, he leads a team which formulates and implements strategies to grow the Singapore water industry to support PUB’s mission and Singapore’s economic development. The team is also responsible for organising the Singapore International Water Week, Singapore's global platform for sharing and co-creating innovative water solutions.

Prior to his current role, Chee Meng was the General Manager of the Jurong Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) from 2013 to 2016. He oversaw the operations of Jurong WRP, which treats both domestic and industrial used waters from the western part of Singapore, and oil and grease waste from food establishments island-wide. Jurong WRP also houses the largest MBR plant in Singapore capable of supplying 15 MGD of Industrial Water to Jurong Island, and the award-winning 1 MGD UASB-Ceramic MBR industrial used water recycling demonstration plant.

In 2011 to 2012, Chee Meng was with Singapore’s Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. At the Water Policy Division, he was involved in the policy review of water pricing and the economic regulation of PUB to ensure that water remains affordable to ordinary Singaporeans.

Mr. Debashis Sen-IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal

Shri Debashis Sen joined the IAS in 1985. He graduated from Presidency College, Kolkata and got his post-M.Sc. Diploma from Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics. He got his Diploma in Public Administration from ENA, France. He has been trained at the JFK School Harvard University and at IMF Institute, Washington D.C., USA.

Shri Sen has served in various capacities including District Magistrate for more than five years and Chief Electoral Officer for five years.

He is presently posted as the Additional Chief Secretary to the Govt. of West Bengal, Information Technology & Electronics Department and Chairman-Managing Director, WBHIDCO which is a government company that is developing New Town, Kolkata. He is also the Chairman of New Kolkata Development Authority(NKDA) and Naba Diganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA).

Ms. Rosy Senanayake-Mayor of Colombo

Ms. Rosy Senanayake, is the Mayor of Colombo, Member of the United National Party Working Committee, and Organizer to the East and West Electorates for the United National Party, Sri Lanka. Prior to this, she held various important positions, such as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, State Minister of Child Affair, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Malaysia, UN Goodwill Ambassador, etc. Ms. Rosy’s areas of interests include: to stir Sri Lanka to be a globally competitive nation, enabling greater representation of women in the legislature and law making bodies, campaigning for women’s rights, and the well-being of Sri Lankan migrant women workers-particularly in the Middle East and Asian region. She received Zonta International Award for Internationalism, Jaycees International Top Ten Award, and 2007 National Woman of Achievement Award. Ms. Rosy holds degrees in Business Management from London Polytechnic, and Conflict Resolution in Harvard Law School respectively.

Other discussants

Prof. Nicholas Stern-Former Chief Economist World Bank, IAP

Professor Stern is the Chair, Grantham Research Institute since it was founded in 2008. Professor Stern is the IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and Head of the India Observatory at the London School of Economics. President of the British Academy, July 2013 – 2017, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.

Professor Stern has held academic appointments in the UK at Oxford, Warwick and the LSE and abroad including at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Ecole Polytechnique and the Collège de France in Paris, the Indian Statistical Institute in Bangalore and Delhi, and the People’s University of China in Beijing.

He was Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1994-1999, and Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank, 2000-2003.He was Second Permanent Secretary to Her Majesty’s Treasury from 2003-2005; Director of Policy and Research for the Prime Minister’s Commission for Africa from 2004-2005; Head of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006; and Head of the Government Economic Service from 2003-2007. He was knighted for services to economics in 2004, made a cross-bench life peer as Baron Stern of Brentford in 2007, and appointed Companion of Honour for services to economics, international relations and tackling climate change in 2017. He has published more than 15 books and 100 articles and his most recent book is “Why are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change”.

Mr. Jonathan Woetzel-Director, McKinsey Global Institute

Based in China since 1985, Dr. Jonathan Woetzel has been instrumental in building McKinsey & Company's China office. In addition to his work helping Chinese and other Asian businesses prepare for global growth, Jonathan is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey's business and economics research arm. He also leads McKinsey's Cities Special Initiative and is responsible for convening McKinsey's work with city, regional, and national authorities in more than 40 geographies around the world. He is a co-chair of the non-profit think tank, the Urban China Initiative—a joint venture of Columbia University, Tsinghua University, and McKinsey—that aims to develop and implement solutions to China's urbanization challenges. Jonathan has led numerous research efforts on global economic trends, including growth and productivity, urbanization, affordable housing, energy and sustainability, e-commerce, and the economic impact of the Internet, as well as on productivity growth and economic development in China and Asia. Jonathan's public sector work is extensive. He has advised national governments in Asia on improving the environment for foreign investors, national energy policy, and economic development strategies. He also leads work with local government authorities, having conducted more than 60 projects throughout China to support local economic development and transformation. This includes working extensively in real estate—specifically, on commercial revitalization—and advising on energy investment strategies and energy productivity and transparency, among other topics. Jonathan works in the private sector as well, most often on topics related to corporate strategy, operations, and organization. He has served clients in industries such as energy, metals and mining, health care, telecommunications, and transportation. He supported the largest company in China in a fundamental restructuring that led to the then-largest foreign listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Jonathan actively participates in a number of international forums and lectures at the Guanghua School of Business and the China-Europe International Business School, and is also an honorary lecturer at Jiaotong University's Antai Business School. Published widely in both Chinese and international publications, Jonathan has written five books on China, including Capitalist China: Strategies for a Revolutionized Economy (Wiley & Sons, 2003), Operation China: From Strategy to Execution (Harvard Business Press, 2007), and One Hour China (Towson Press, 2013). He has also coauthored, with Richard Dobbs and James Manyika, No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends (PublicAffairs, May 2015). A US citizen, Jonathan is proficient in Mandarin, Spanish, and German.