On September 4, VEB.RF, the National PPP Development Centre and AECOM presented a draft of the National Infrastructure Project Assessment and Certification System to the market. The system is being developed with the support of the Russian Ministry of Finance as part of the integration of the principles of quality infrastructure investment, which were approved by the G20 countries in 2019. The system is developed by Russian and foreign experts. The system was presented during the strategy online session Quality Investments in Infrastructure: Key Aspects facilitated by Russia Today’s international press centre. The session brought together representatives of the Russian Ministry of Finance, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, the State Duma, financiers, infrastructure investors, rating agencies, and Russian and foreign experts. The system is aimed at improving the quality of infrastructure projects, as well as attracting additional sources of funding. The project was based on similar foreign systems, such as CEEQUAL (UK), Envision (US), and Infrastructure Sustainability (Australia). In addition to environmental and social aspects, the Russian assessment methodology pays full attention to the economic and managerial issues of project implementation. The system will allow to conduct an independent assessment of the quality of the project and to obtain the appropriate certificate of compliance, which in the future will allow attracting funding on more favourable terms, including from foreign investors. In addition, the system will make it possible to identify the project’s disadvantages from the very beginning, to reduce risks at all stages of its implementation, and to increase the socio-economic efficiency of investments. The system will be useful for all participants of the infrastructure market. Assessment and certification of projects will begin based on the results of the pilot testing of the system and will be voluntary. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov noted that, last June, the G20 leaders approved a framework document that sets out the key principles that should be applied to quality infrastructure investments. Today, there are many more requirements for infrastructure investments and projects. Infrastructure investments should not only meet the specified financial requirements, but also make an additional contribution to the social and environmental development of the country and meet new criteria. “In recent years, a lot of development banks have been created, including those with Russian participation, each of these banks having a specific investment mandate. The strong capital base of these institutions, plus a certain leverage, allows them to inject billions of dollars to infrastructure development of countries. Those who know how to work in the financial markets already attract money from these institutions and earn money using this model; correct investment shows a good financial result,” Timur Maximov pointed out. VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman and Member of the Management Board Svetlana Yachevskaya drew the participants' attention to the fact that the G20 principles on quality infrastructure investment are not a slogan. This is what the international community has come to when analysing the key effects of infrastructure projects on all developed economies. The methodology for assessing infrastructure projects in accordance with these principles, developed by VEB.RF, will be completely voluntary. “It is very important that the market participants themselves show interest in it first of all. Russia needs an influx of investment in infrastructure. To do this, an investor must be confident in a comprehensive assessment of all project risks," Svetlana Yachevskaya noted. “It is important that the project assessment system is modern and accessible to all market participants, therefore we plan to make it digital, as it was done, for example, in the USA: an online criteria calculator, a single website for supporting project initiators, a database of the best quality projects. In Russia, we plan to implement all of the above using ROSINFRA’s platform,” the National PPP Development Centre’s Director General Pavel Seleznyov said.

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