2019 July 12 Friday

Open Discussion: Opportunities in Digital Infrastructure (Open Event)

Foyer C, ECCL



  • Provide a platform for networking and investment pipeline building to promote digital infrastructure.
  • Support stakeholders to widen their networks and understand industry trends. 
  • To raise awareness of AIIB’s involvement in digital infrastructure and infrastructure-enabling technologies.



Digital infrastructure is a key enabler of economic growth and financial inclusion: a 10% increase in internet penetration is found to correlate with an increase of up to 2.8% in economic growth. In addition, the adoption of infrastructure enabling technologies (infra-tech)- which include advanced building information systems, virtual/augmented reality to facilitate designs, and machine learning, supercomputing or big data analysis to perform feasibility studies- could lead to efficiency gains and costs savings throughout the infrastructure value chain. Not only it has been estimated  that 10% of the overall project costs could be saved, but also forecasting and  capturing of key values to turn un-bankable projects into bankable ones, could be substantially enhanced. The enhanced forecasting capabilities could lead to a paradigm shift able to support the development of smart energy projects, smart transportation, and smart cities.


Nevertheless, developing countries are at risk of falling behind. Without the necessary digital  infrastructure to support trade and integration with the global economy integration of new technologies could lead to a “digital divide” that perpetuates exclusion and inequality. For example, 4G connectivity reaches 62% of the world’s population, but only 24% of the population in less developed countries enjoy the same access. According to the World Economic Forum, the global digital infrastructure investment gap will reach USD 1.0 trillion by 2040, this estimate is mainly driven by Asian and African countries. In this context, it has been estimated that between 2012 and 2016 Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) investments in the digital infrastructure sector only accounted for around 1% of their total commitments.


Upon the backdrop of the increasing influence of digital economy, but divergence of performances and investments in different countries, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) recognizes the importance of multistakeholder discussions on  key digital infrastructure investment priorities. This event aims at exploring collaboration opportunities between AIIB, government representatives and private sector companies to utilize infrastructure-related technology to make infrastructure projects safer, more efficient, longer lasting and more bankable.



Format and structure
Unconference- 30 minutes
The event aims at providing an open stage for participants to share their work in the digital economy. At the offset, AIIB will provide a brief overview of the Bank’s work on digital infrastructure. Afterwards,  attendees will be invited to present their work on digital infrastructure.


Open floor and networking - 30 minutes
In the second part, attendees will be invited to freely assemble in sub-groups and continue the information exchange.