Global Economics Monthly: Bridges to Somewhere? Deconstructing Asia's Infrastructure Push

Volume IV, Issue VII, July 2015

The past two years have seen a veritable landslide of new infrastructurefocused initiatives across the Asia-Pacific region. These include the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and “One Belt, One Road” (1B1R) vision; Japan’s five-year, $110 billion “quality infrastructure” push; and the Australia-based Global Infrastructure Hub. There is no question that Asia needs more and better infrastructure, both to boost growth and support the region’s development. However, beneath the flood of new financing commitments is the bedrock reality of a shortage of viable projects and the inherent challenges of this kind of investment. This suggests that the Asian infrastructure push may be less about putting money to good use than about a competition to shape the region’s economic geography...

David A. Parker