Asia’s road network

One of the striking lessons from Asia’s success over the past few decades is that it makes economic sense to invest in regional infrastructure to link two or more countries to support outward-oriented development strategies. Cross-border projects such as the Almaty-Bishkek regional road in Central Asia, the India-Bangladesh Electrical Grid Interconnection project, and the Tonga-Fiji Submarine Cable have enhanced Asia’s economic development by stimulating flows of goods, services, investment, people and technology.

They have also fostered regional peace and cooperation. Negative effects such as environmental degradation, displaced people, crime and trafficking from such projects have been largely mitigated through safeguards and public policies. A huge gap exists, however, between the enormous demand for investment in regional infrastructure and inadequate supply of infrastructure finance in Asia...