Infrastructure development will play a critical role in meeting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. The pursuit of sustainable infrastructure in the region should be at the core of the region’s development agenda. But significant challenges and risks around the financing of infrastructure projects – many of which are large, complex and sometimes span sovereign borders – often mean that hesitations and bottlenecks occur. And these are collectively serving to imperil the chances that Asia and the Pacific will meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). So, how can countries overcome these challenges?
This book takes stock of the infrastructure financing landscape in Asia and the Pacific, and proposes new strategic approaches and emphases to infrastructure financing, based on three complementary pillars. First, the SDGs should serve as the over-arching principles that set good practices in all stages of infrastructure development, from initial planning and conceptualization, through to implementation and operation. Secondly, governments need to provide a conducive enabling environment for infrastructure financing and development, including developing new financial instruments and markets, and ensuring effective planning and implementation of infrastructure investments. Thirdly, the private sector needs to be more meaningfully engaged in infrastructure development, as a valuable partner in achieving economic, social and environmental sustainability.
A strategic shift in mindset is advocated here. Adopting a more holistic approach to infrastructure financing will help to accelerate infrastructure development in Asia and the Pacific, and thereby help drive regional progress towards attaining the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.