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Castalia catalyst for infrastructure talks


Castalia catalyst for infrastructure talks

Infrastructure regulators responsible for the development and regulation of vital infrastructure services in 23 countries in East Asia and the Pacific will gather in Singapore next month to talk about promoting accountability.

Castalia, a New Zealand-based strategic consultancy, has been appointed interim secretariat for The East Asia and Pacific Infrastructure Regulatory Forum (EAPIRF), together with IDP Consult in Manila.

They are drawing together regulators from 23 countries to share information about successes and problems in making sure people have access to clean water, electricity and other energy sources, sanitation, telecommunications and transport.

Castalia manager Ilze Gotelli says the idea for the forum was first discussed in 2003 in recognition that infrastructure development is critical to the economic and social development of the regions.

“As governments seek to improve the delivery of services through public and private service providers, effective regulation has become increasingly vital to balance the interests of consumers, investors and governments,” she says.

The establishment of the EAPIRF has been supported by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Funding has been provided by the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF).

Regulators at the Singapore meeting on October 6 and 7 will discuss the theme of regulatory accountability as well as approve the Forum’s strategic plan. New Zealand’s Electricity Commission Chairman Roy Hemmingway is a key note speaker.

A website (www.eapirf.org) has been established for the forum to exchange information and Gotelli says a capacity needs assessment for regulatory entities in the region is being carried out.

Former New Zealand competition specialist John Feil, who is now the Executive Director of the National Competition Council in Australia, and Tony de Vera, a Philippines-based water infrastructure consultant, have been moderating an online discussion on regulatory accountability that has attracted comments from around the world.

Members of the EAPIRF are Australia, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Micronesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Ends

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