Filling Asia’s Infrastructure Gap: Financing the Region’s Growth


Tuesday, June 7, 2016


11:45 am – 2:00 pm


Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA94105

11:45 am registration, 12:00 pm luncheon Price (includes lunch): $50.00 Registration closes: May 27, 2016


As the economies in Asia continue to grow, many countries—particularly developing economies—are facing big challenges in building new or improving outdated infrastructure to accommodate this growth. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), over $1 trillion a year is needed by 2020 to sustain the region’s growth trajectory. Without investments to fill the gaps in critical infrastructure needs such as in transportation, energy, telecommunications, and resource management, growth in Asia may stall.

While multilateral development institutions, such as the ADB, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, have traditionally stepped in to fulfill this role of financing infrastructure projects in Asia, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has recently emerged as a formidable new player. Spearheaded by China and launched in January 2016, the AIIB plans to invest $10-$15 billion each year in the coming five years in the region. AIIB has been seen both as a needed complement to existing development finance institutions, as well as a rejoinder to Western-backed development institutions.

Join ASNC and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco as we take a critical look at the sources for financing economic growth and sustainable development in Asia. Can the AIIB do things differently filling gaps that the ADB or World Bank cannot fill? What will be the role of private sector financing, where much of these infrastructure investments must originate from to really work?

About the Speakers and Moderator:

Dr. Vinod (Vinnie) Aggarwal is a Professor in the Department of Political Science, Affiliated Professor in the Business and Public Policy group in the Haas School of Business, and Director of the Berkeley Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center (BASC) at the University of California Berkeley.

He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Business and Politics, and Co-Chair of the U.S. Consortium of APEC Study Centers. From 1991-1994, he chaired the Political Economy of Industrial Societies Program at UC Berkeley. In 1990, he was Special Adviser on Trade Negotiations to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and has worked with the APEC Eminent Persons Group. Dr. Aggarwal has held fellowships from the Brookings Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations, East-West Center, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and was a Japan Foundation Abe Fellow. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, the University of Geneva’s IOMBA program, INSEAD, Yonsei University, NTU Singapore, and Bocconi University. His current research examines comparative regionalism in Europe, North America, and Asia with a focus on implications for the international system and multinational corporations.

Aaron Bielenberg (Moderator) is a Senior Vice President at McKinsey & Company in the London office.

Mr. Bielenberg works with investors, developers, lenders, utilities, and governments on large-scale infrastructure planning and development and on a variety of public-private partnership and infrastructure-finance issues across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Prior to joining McKinsey, he worked for Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs and practiced at Latham & Watkins and Baker Botts. Mr. Bielenberg also serves as the founder, Chief Executive Officer, and a board member of the Clean Energy Business Council (MENA). He received his BA with honors from Brown University and was a Fulbright Scholar. He earned his JD at Columbia University.

C. Lawrence “Larry” Greenwood is the President of the Japan Society of Northern California.

Prior to joining the Society in 2016, Mr. Greenwood worked in Tokyo, where he managed government relations throughout Asia for MetLife and in Manila, where he co-led the Asian Development Bank and was responsible for $7 billion of development lending annually. As a career diplomat from 1976-2006, Mr. Greenwood enjoyed two assignments in the US Embassy in Tokyo, postings in the Philippines and Singapore, and a variety of other jobs, including a term as US Ambassador to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group. Mr. Greenwood is concurrently Senior Advisor to the Bower Group Asia, and a non-resident Senior Adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Larry holds a BA from Eckerd College and an MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Dr. Nicholas Hope is the Director of the Stanford Center for International Development’s (SCID) China research program.

Prior to coming to Stanford, Dr. Hope worked at the World Bank as Country Director for China and Mongolia, and Director of the Resident Staff in Indonesia. Dr. Hope received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and his undergraduate degrees from Oxford University and the University of Tasmania. He was awarded the Tasmanian Rhodes Scholarship and a research fellowship from the Brookings Institution. His current research is private enterprise development in China and progress of reforms in China, especially in the financial sector. His interests are in East Asian economies, especially China and Indonesia, and his teaching interests are in development of Asian economies, role and effectiveness of international financial institutions, and thesis supervision of students working in those areas.