Toll Tale

Aug 10, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka could use private financing to fund growing infrastructure requirements like toll roads in future given the inability of governments to meet all such funding needs, a Fitch Ratings official said. Attractive infrastructure investment opportunities in Sri Lanka could draw local and foreign capital which could help underpin future growth, said Cynthia Howells, director of Global Infrastructure & Project Finance at Fitch Ratings New York.

“Private investment frees up governments to focus on the most difficult projects while the more straightforward but important ones can be funded by the private sector,” she told a Fitch forum on infrastructure financing in developing countries.

“It could maybe accelerate the process of infrastructure development if many entities support different infrastructure projects at the same time,” Howells said.

“We know from experience elsewhere in the world that governments can’t do it all,” she said.

Howells acknowledged that it may be cheaper for sovereigns to borrow and finance projects in the early phase of a country’s infrastructure modernisation but noted private financing may be needed later on.

“The global experience is that governments can