Asia needs $26 trillion in infrastructure investments

Manila, Feb 28 (IANS) Developing economies of Asia and the Pacific region will need infrastructure investments worth $26 trillion from now until 2030, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report issued on Tuesday.

The report by the Manila-based bank argued that the region will need multiple investments to maintain its current growth momentum, eradicate poverty and battle climate change, Efe news reported.

“The demand for infrastructure across Asia and the Pacific far outstrips current supply,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao in a statement.

ADB experts have urged Asian governments to double their existing spending on infrastructure, which currently stands around $881 billion per year.

According to the report, while Asia is among the most economically-dynamic regions on the planet, it is also home to 400 million people without access to power, 300 million without potable water, and 1.5 billion without access to basic sanitation.

Many countries lack adequate ports, railways, and roads that could connect them efficiently to larger domestic and global markets, it added.

The bank estimates developing Asian countries will require investments of $14.7 trillion in power, $8.4 trillion in transport, $2.3 trillion in telecommunications, besides $800 billion in sanitation until 2030.

The $1.7 trillion recommended by the ADB in this report is more than twice the figure in its last report, that came out in 2009 for the 2010-20 period, when it called for yearly investments to the tune of $750 billion.

The ADB attributes the jump partially to inflation and an increase in the number of countries included in the report, which in 2009 was 32 while this year, all 45 developing nations of Asia and the Pacific have been included.

–IANS

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