SINGAPORE (Dec 13): He comes across as down to earth, approachable and knowledgeable. But what makes Seth Tan, executive director of Infrastructure Asia (IA), the right man to lead the year-old organisation is his 24 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector. One thing that was apparent during a recent interview with The Edge Singapore was his passion for the business. When asked to explain his role, the 48-year-old enthuses: “We make regional infrastructure cases more viable and attractive to Singapore’s private sector by helping regional government counterparts create an enabling environment through knowledge sharing and capacity building.”
The Singapore government unit — jointly set up by Enterprise Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore — brings together investors and industry specialists in the region’s infrastructure sector. The initiative was launched by then Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat at the 8th Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable on Oct 23, 2018. IA, in a sense, is Singapore’s attempt to create a bigger role for itself as Asia’s infrastructure spending grows.
Creating a one-stop solution for the region’s fast-developing infrastructure sector may be a daunting task to some, but Tan says he and his 17-member team — made up of former bankers, consultants and trade promotion officials — have been hard at work. So far, they have met with over 300 institutions and are looking to double this number in the coming year.