Within the Third International Parliamentary Conference of the OSCE Silk Road Support Group (SRG), Mr. Roberto Grassi, CEO of Fidinam Group, was invited to held a speech during the opening ceremony in Andermatt on September 5th.
The theme of the OSCE PA edition was "The Belt and Road Initiative as a driver for the Sustainable Development Goals".
Here is the full version of the text.
THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE (BRI) AS A DRIVER FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG)
Andermatt, September 5th, 2019
Opening Speech – Dr Roberto Grassi
Hon Ministry of Foreign Affairs
His Excellence Ambassador of PRC in Switzerland
Ladies and Gentlemen
I’m honoured to have been invited to address you some thoughts at this international conference, and I believe that sustainable development goals are not only very actual and popular but also a priority for the benefit of future generations.
Global connectivity is core to boost development, link countries and tie economies. And this is valid specifically for developing countries, that have been left aside of the globalisation process of the last thirty years.
Large initiatives like the Belt & Road deliver a unique opportunity to apply clear Sustainable Development Goals, and deserves it. This is particularly applicable when it comes to define the terms of large infrastructural investments.
Generate greater efficiency by cooperating together is pivotal, as business and investments do not just create jobs, but may play a significant role in the development of people and societies in economic and cultural manner.
It’s a fact that Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure investment deliver positive results with mutual benefits. And by opening up to market and competition, it is possible to boost prosperity for local economies. This can be achieved provided that rules and terms of engagement are clear, generally accepted by all participants and its application adequately controlled. Cooperating in a competitive environment, though, requires mutual trust by all parties involved. And trust is tightly linked to transparency. Competition is bearable and ideal if it is true and fair.
Global players in the infrastructural market require common and generally accepted rules. No matter if those are strict and more binding, provided they are applicable to every participant to tenders in a fully transparent way and effectively applied and controlled.
So Public entities should define clear contents, terms, rules and conditions for tender. Thus taking into consideration as selective parameters not only price or quality, but also collateral significant goals like environmental, macro economic and social issues like resort to local resources, engage for local development, adopt generally accepted basic employment rules, transparency, etc. A real, fair tender is the enabler for an efficient development and for preserving a global commitment to the project. This is to me the most important challenge privates and governments have to face: to establish, implement and ensure in the long term a transparent, non-discriminatory and equal market environment.
I strongly believe that a clear project and a mindset for a real fair tender will enable a sane and efficient deployment of resources and generate a shared commitment to the project, taking into consideration sustainable goals for the benefit of relevant regions and communities.
Seizing the opportunity offered by Belt and Road initiative is incommensourable and will require a lot of effort and commitment from both side, Public and Private, to ensure that economic, social and ecological environment will be protected and enhanced.
Thanks for your attention.
Dr Roberto Grassi