The need for new and upgraded infrastructure across developing-Asia and the Pacific is expected to exceed $22.6 trillion through 2030, or around $1.5 trillion a year, if the region is going to maintain its growth momentum — figures which only increase to over $26 trillion, or $1.7 trillion a year, when climate change mitigation and adaptation costs are included.
A new report published this week by the Asian Development Bank, Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs, focuses specifically on the region’s power, transport, telecommunications, and water & sanitation infrastructure, and examined the current infrastructure stocks and investments, future investment needs, and the financing mechanisms for developing-Asia.
It found that a total of $26 trillion worth of investments into the region’s infrastructure not only to maintain its growth, but also to eradicate poverty and adapt to climate change. This works out to be around $14.7 trillion for power, $8.4 trillion for transport, $2.3 trillion for telecommunications, and $800 billion for water and sanitation.
“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.”
East-Asia is expected to account for 60% of the investment needs through 2030. However, when looking at things as a percentage of GDP, the Pacific leads all other sub-regions, requiring investments worth 9.1% of their GDP — followed by South Asia at 8.8%, Central Asia at 7.8%, Southeast Asia at 5.7%, and East Asia at 5.2% of GDP.
The report covers 45 countries in the region, finding that a massive infrastructure gap remains, leaving more than 400 million people without electricity, 300 million without access to safe drinking water, and approximately 1.5 billion without access to basic sanitation. Many of the economies in the region also lack adequate ports, railways, and roads that would connect them efficiently to larger domestic and global markets.
“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,” said Mr. Nakao.
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