Austrade Invites World Bank to Study Water Reforms in Australia and Hold Discussions for a Global Water Fund
(News4us.com) November 29, 2010
A team from the World Bank’s private sector investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), visited Australia in October to learn more about our water reforms and to discuss the idea of a global water fund.
The IFC invests in projects and organisations working in developing markets. Austrade invited the IFC’s dedicated water projects group to Australia to study how we have dealt with the challenges of adapting to climate change, with a special focus on water.
Austrade’s Washington-based Senior Trade Commissioner Alison McGuigan-Lewis said, “Australia’s experience is held in high regard by the World Bank.
“Austrade has an ongoing water program in North America, aimed at developing commercial linkages between Australia and the USA.
“One of the objectives is to extend the relationship between the World Bank and Australia by providing greater access to Australian water expertise,” she said.
The IFC group, led by Ms Usha Rao-Monari, Global Head of Water, met with key private sector players in the financial services market to discuss a proposed global water fund. It also had discussions with water industry figures about the IFC working with Australian companies and projects that focus on the developing world.
Ms Rao-Monari said, “Climate change has exacerbated the issues related to water scarcity and access. Australia has reacted early to deal with these issues, and the innovative policies that have been applied in Australia have global relevance and should be widely communicated.
“Many countries talk and theorise about water sector issues and climate change adaptation. Australia has actually implemented national and state level water policies which provide a robust way forward,” she said.
The visit followed an initial meeting between the World Bank and National Water Commission CEO and Chairman Ken Matthews in January 2010.
Austrade has since facilitated a number of activities between the World Bank and Australia’s federal and state policy makers and experts from the commercial sector. A delegation from the World Bank-supported Arab Water Academy in the Middle East also came to Australia on a water study mission in October.
The World Bank has invited Austrade to coordinate the first day of its Water Week on January 31 2011. The day will focus on the Australian water experience and resulting lessons for the developing world, with particular emphasis on technologies and expertise that will allow the World Bank to fast-track water reform processes and projects.
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