Asian infrastructure needs exceed $1.7t per year: ADB

Published On: March 1, 2017 12:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Mar 1: Infrastructure needs in developing Asia and the Pacific will exceed $22.6 trillion through 2030, or $1.5 trillion per year, if the region is to maintain growth momentum, according to a new flagship report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) published on Tuesday.

"The estimates rise to over $26 trillion, or $1.7 trillion per year, when climate change mitigation and adaptation costs are incorporated,” reads the report, 'Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs', that focuses on the region's power, transport, telecommunications, and water and sanitation infrastructure. It comprehensively examines current infrastructure stocks and investments, future investment needs, and financing mechanisms for developing Asia.

"The demand for infrastructure across Asia and the Pacific far outstrips current supply," said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. "Asia needs new and upgraded infrastructure that will set the standard for quality, encourage economic growth, and respond to the pressing global challenge that is climate change."

Infrastructure development in the 45 countries covered in the report has grown dramatically in recent decades, spurring growth, reducing poverty, and improving people's lives. “But a substantial infrastructure gap remains, with over 400 million people still lacking electricity, 300 million without access to safe drinking water, and about 1.5 billion lacking access to basic sanitation,” the report says, adding: "Many economies in the region lack adequate ports, railways, and roads that could connect them efficiently to larger domestic and global markets." 

Nakao said: "ADB pledges to work with member countries and use our 50 years of experience and expertise to meet infrastructure needs in the region. As the private sector is crucial to fill infrastructure gaps, ADB will promote investment friendly policies and regulatory and institutional reforms to develop bankable project pipelines for public-private partnerships.”

In Nepal too, the ADB is helping set up Public Private Partnership (PPP) Centre at the National Planning Commission (NPC) to encourage the private sector in infrastructure construction.

Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members, 48 from the region.

Report Highlights:
- Of the total climate-adjusted investment needs, $14.7 trillion will be for power and $8.4 trillion for transport. 
-Investments in telecommunications will reach $2.3 trillion, with water and sanitation costs at $800 billion
- South Asia will account for 8.8 percent of climate-adjusted investment needs through 2030.
-The $1.7 trillion annual climate-adjusted estimate is more than double the $750 billion ADB estimated in 2009. 
-Currently, the region annually invests an estimated $881 billion in infrastructure
-Multilateral development banks (MDB) have financed an estimated 2.5 percent of infrastructure investments in developing Asia. 

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