Bottlenecks in ASEAN infrastructure investment

There are still bottlenecks in infrastructure investment in Southeast Asia that hamper regional economic growth and connectivity, experts said in an annual conference on Asian competitiveness in Singapore on November 23-24. 
A construction site in Indonesia (Source: Financial Tribune)
A construction site in Indonesia (Source: Financial Tribune)

Dr. Cledan Mandri Petrott from the World Bank (WB) said ASEAN faces quite serious bottlenecks due to scattered management frameworks at both central and local levels. 

He said most countries in the region lack institutional capacity and skills to support public-private partnership (PPP) projects and environment appraisal, which hinders investment in infrastructure. 

WB statistics showed that though regional infrastructure investment is almost double gross domestic product growth while private involvement in the field remains limited, nearing 15 billion USD from 2012-2016. 

Indonesia recorded the largest private investment in infrastructure over the past decade, mostly in energy projects (93 percent). The Philippines ranked second with seven projects worth 5.4 billion USD. In Vietnam, PPP projects are predominantly in thermal power with total investment of 1.8 billion USD. 

Petrott said the WB is committed to working with regional countries to improve local lives and promote infrastructure connectivity in the region. 

At the event, policymakers, experts and businesses discussed ways to achieve balanced, sustainable and equal growth via tackling bottlenecks in infrastructure investment and improving the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the process. VNS

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