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Wednesday, 24 June 2009, 16:25 HKT/SGT
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Source: World Bank / Singapore International Water Week (SIWW)
Launch of World Bank - Singapore Urban Hub

SIWW, Singapore, June 24, 2009 - (ACN Newswire) - The World Bank - Singapore Urban Hub was launched at the sidelines of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) today. The launch was jointly officiated by Mr. James Adams, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, and Mr. Alphonsus Chia, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE).

The launch of the Urban Hub follows last year's signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on expanding cooperation around urban solutions between the World Bank and Singapore by World Bank President, Mr. Robert Zoellick and Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. George Yeo. The MOU established a strategic partnership between the World Bank and Singapore with the Urban Hub as its core.

The Urban Hub aims to leverage Singapore's recognized expertise in urban development and the World Bank Group's global development knowledge and operational experience for the benefit of developing countries worldwide. Through joint research, training, capacity-building initiatives and project development, the Urban Hub intends to play a positive and growing role in helping other countries tackle critical policy challenges as they seek to improve the lives of their people.

Using Singapore as a test-bed location, the Urban Hub will bring together Singapore's public agencies, research institutes and leading private sector players to explore leading urban solutions for developing cities. In this regard, the Urban Hub will work closely with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE), International Enterprise Singapore (IES), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the national water agency (PUB), Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP).

Following the launch, Mr Adams, who participated in SIWW 2009, called on Singapore's Minister for Finance, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, to discuss the expanded role of the World Bank's Singapore Office and ways to further strengthen the World Bank's partnership with Singapore.

"The Urban Hub is a major step forward in Singapore's strategic partnership with the World Bank. It allows Singapore to share its experience on a whole set of issues to do with making cities liveable - from water and waste management, to land use planning and urban conservation. It also provides a regional base for the World Bank to work with its partners to develop new urban solutions," said Minister Tharman of the establishment of the Urban Hub.

"Singapore is a key partner for the World Bank and we will now be able to develop a center of excellence in Singapore to more effectively leverage our global knowledge and Singapore's recognized experience in urban management and finance to provide more timely advice and solutions to developing countries in Asia. With its world class system of education, training, and ICT, we can work closely with institutions in Singapore and the private sector to extend joint assistance for priority initiatives in the region." said Mr Adams of the collaboration between the Republic of Singapore and the World Bank.

Mr. Adams also announced the appointment of Mr. Kamran M. Khan who will head the World Bank Office in Singapore and lead its new partnership with the Government of Singapore, including the development of the World Bank-Singapore Urban Hub.

In his new role in Singapore, Mr. Khan will: (i) head the World Bank Office in Singapore and manage the World Bank's relationships with the Government of Singapore; (ii) manage the World Bank - Singapore Partnership, which includes the development of the new World Bank - Singapore Urban Hub; and (iii) lead the World Bank's Infrastructure Finance Practice Group in East Asia and the Pacific.

Mr. Khan, a U.S. national, joined the World Bank in 1999 as an urban specialist in the organization's Finance, Private Sector, and Infrastructure Network. After pursuing opportunities in the private sector, he rejoined the World Bank in 2004, and most recently held the post of Infrastructure Finance Adviser for East Asia and the Pacific. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Khan spent over eight years focusing on investment banking and advisory services with Goldman Sachs, J.P Morgan Chase, and LEK Consulting, and worked for seven years at the U.S. Agency for International Development where he was the team leader of the project finance and guarantee facility. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, and an MS in Applied Economics and an MGA in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Khan's appointment is effective from August 1st, 2009.

Topic: Corporate Announcement
Sectors: Water, Environment
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