Author: Ian Laski

Partnership for resilient smart development

Rapid urbanization in Asia has created an unprecedented challenge for the development community. From 2000 to 2010, nearly 200 million people moved into East Asian cities, according to the World Bank. Through this panel discussion, we hope to determine ways in which urbanization can become a driver of development and stability, through targeted investments from donors, host country governments, civil society, and the private sector, with a special focus on infrastructure, technology, and financial services.

Transcript of interview:

"I think partnership is a great term to come back to, because in the end, so much of what's happening is happening at the local level. It's in your community. It's in your city. And if you talk to mayors, you talk to people who work at the local level, they'll say, we got lots of projects, but we don't have many that are bankable. We have a general vision for our city, but we don't have a strategic plan. And we don't have a plan that is resilient in nature. 

And we know there's money out there, but we don't know how to build these innovative financing mechanisms. And so I think they need partnership. They need companies like Bechtel that can work with them to develop the kind of vision for the future that, really, the whole region is dependent on. 

And I think, also as we talk about our company, we are uniquely positioned because of our diversity in terms of businesses. In starting from Bechtel Enterprises and our understanding of business, understanding of financing, through all of our global business units, we can provide expertise in infrastructure, in energy, through oil and gas, in environmental and nuclear security, and mining of metals. All of these combine to provide a really unique value proposition, because we have this overarching view from a standpoint of a company which understands all aspects of what I would call built environment. 

And I think that's something which we can deploy. And we are deploying, actually, across the region. And I think this will provide in the end for a far more robust solution, which is really what the region needs."

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