Infrastructure Gap in South Asia: Infrastructure Needs, Prioritization, and Financing

Andrés, Luis ; Biller, Dan ; Herrera Dappe, Matías

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If the South Asia region hopes to meet its development goals and not risk slowing down or even halting growth, poverty alleviation, and shared prosperity, it is essential to make closing its huge infrastructure gap a priority. Identifying and addressing gaps in the data on expenditure, access, and quality are crucial to ensuring that governments make efficient, practical, and effective infrastructure development choices. This study addresses this knowledge gap by focusing on the current status of infrastructure sectors and geographical disparities, real levels of investment and private sector participation, deficits and proper targets for the future, and bottlenecks to expansion. The findings show that the South Asia region needs to invest between US$1.7 trillion and US$2.5 trillion (at current prices) to close its infrastructure gap. If investments are spread evenly over the years until 2020, the region needs to invest between 6.6 and 9.9 percent of 2010 gross domestic product per year, an estimated increase of up to 3 percentage points from the 6.9 percent of gross domestic product invested in infrastructure by countries in the region in 2009. Given the enormous size of the region's infrastructure deficiencies, it will need a mix of investment in infrastructure stock and supportive reforms to close its infrastructure gap. One major challenge will be prioritizing investment needs. Another will be choosing optimal forms of service provision, including the private sector's role, and the decentralization of administrative functions and powers.

Document type: Working paper
Publisher: The World Bank
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Date: 2014
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 4 September 2015
Number of Pages: 37
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Commerce, communications, transport
Controlled Subjects: Südasien, Infrastruktur
Uncontrolled Keywords: Südasien, Infrastruktur / India, Infrastructure
Subject (classification): Science and Technology
Countries/Regions: South Asia
Additional Information: © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO
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