Infrastructure Financing for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

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The development of quality, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure is an important goal of the 2030 Agenda. However, investment in infrastructure in most countries in Asia and the Pacific is insufficient. Developing countries in the region have substantial investment needs in transport, ICT, water and sanitation and energy to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This publication highlights the infrastructure financing landscape and addresses how developing countries in the region can increase infrastructure investment by focusing on the challenges they face along topical areas. Special attention is made to improve public sector efficiency and catalyze private sector involvement to achieve the SDGs.




In this modern and interconnected world, the bulk of things that are made require electricity to make them, and then require modes of transport to get them to their end destination. The transactions and trading involved also require robust communications. It is the case that infrastructure is the platform on which any economy depends. It is also the vehicle by which a society provides public goods and services to its communities, whether it be health care, education, or safe water. Whatever social, cultural, political, and economic profile a country may have, the need for quality infrastructure is the perennial common denominator. Thus, for policymakers, there is no way of escaping from the challenge of planning, funding, developing, and implementing infrastructure projects. But that challenge is considerable, particularly for many less developed and developing countries, including those in Asia and the Pacific. Growing and legitimate concerns around environmental degradation and the adverse impact of climate change are providing additional headwinds for economic planners, as an emphasis on sustainability is mainstreamed into the policymaking processes of all countries. Not only did the job become more pressing, but it also became more complex. For countries with limited institutional capacity in those government agencies mandated to oversee infrastructure planning and operation, the task is a daunting one, and the resources that the private sector – both foreign and domestic – can bring are potentially key in determining success or failure. But the worldviews, priorities and incentives of the public and private sectors are quite different, and much of the challenge lies in finding ways to align them in a way that is mutually satisfactory, delivers the desired impact, and can be made sustainable over time. And this is particularly true around the issue of financing infrastructure.


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