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$26 trillion needed to maintain Asia's growth momentum

Staff Writer | February 28, 2017
Developing Asia needs investment of 26 trillion U.S. dollars through 2030, or $1.7 trillion per year, to maintain its growth momentum, eradicate poverty, and to cushion the impact of climate change, a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report said.
Asia street
Economies in Asia   The inclusion of climate-related investments
"The demand for infrastructure across Asia and the Pacific far outstrips current supply," said ADB President Tahehiko Nakao.

He said 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."

The report predicts that 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.

"The estimates rise to over $26 trillion, or $1.7 trillion per year, when climate change mitigation and adaptation costs are incorporated," the report says.

The new report 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 report says that infrastructure development in the countries covered in the study 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.

Moreover, it says that many economies in the region lack adequate ports, railways, and roads that could connect them efficiently to larger domestic and global markets.

Of the total climate-adjusted investment needs over 2016 to 2030, the report says that $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 over the period, the report says.

It says East Asia will account for 61 percent of climate-adjusted investment needs through 2030.

The reports says that the $1.7 trillion annual climate-adjusted estimate is more than double the $750 billion ADB estimated in 2009, adding that the inclusion of climate-related investments is a major contributing factor.