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Market perspective: Wee Ming Tan, Macquarie Capital

Macquarie Capital is a leading global specialist in infrastructure, energy and utilities. The firm acts as an adviser, investor and developer, and has been at the forefront of infrastructure innovation for more than 25 years.

Wee Ming Tan is a Vice President in the firm’s Infrastructure and Energy group. His team looks at investment opportunities across the infrastructure and energy space, covering a broad mix of asset classes from solar and wind to towers and data centres.

Tan sees the Asia Pacific region as a key destination for renewable energy investment. He says, “Macquarie has presence in a mix of both developing and developed economies across the region.  We see a great deal of activities across many of these markets, which shows that there is strong and widespread support for the energy mix to transition towards the use of renewables.”

However, Tan notes that there are country-wide differences in terms of the incentives available to spur this investment. Developed economies, like Japan and Taiwan, have more generous fiscal support to provide incentives to attract private sector investment into renewable projects. Yet in terms of the overall policy intent, Tan says that it is quite consistent across the region. “There’s a very welcoming and supportive environment for renewables overall.”

In terms of the outlook for infrastructure investment across the Asia Pacific region, Tan believes that it’s only going to get better. “From population growth to technology changes, the region is growing fast, placing huge constraints on existing infrastructure. This alone increases the need for infrastructure assets which support connectivity, including airports, trains, telecommunication assets and data centres.”

It’s also important to look at where the South East Asia region started out, which was a more restrictive environment for foreign investment. Tan explains that on the policy side, various governments are trying to loosen such restrictions to attract foreign capital. “There’s only so much local capital can do”, he says. “The natural way forward is to allow for more foreign capital to be invested in these economies.”