Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the world's evolving digital infrastructure competition, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
The U.S. and Japan now need to think bigger, harder, and in greater unison about how to maximize their collective impact on urgent regional and global challenges. Considering the dramatic rise of China, the two like-minded nations -- the world's largest and third-largest economies -- would be best served by focusing on the top policy challenges facing the Indo-Pacific and world economy in the new COVID-impacted era.
During a recent speech commemorating China's Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, Chinese president Xi Jinping promoted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a pathway to global collaboration and named the city as a driver of China's innovation and technology ambitions.
The Asian Development Bank announced that the region is only expected to grow by 0.1 percent this year, the slowest rate since 1961 and a further deterioration from the 2.2 percent projection in April following the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nikkei reports.
A new report released by analytics company Refinitiv on Tuesday showed a 15.6% drop in the number of new BRI projects announced in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2019. The value of the projects slid from $386.08 billion to $137.43 billion over the same period, Nikkei reports.
China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouses gases, pledged to cut "carbon intensity" as part of the Paris Pact it signed in 2015. But China may struggle to meet its climate pledges this year as it turns to heavy industry and carbon-intensive projects to shore up its coronavirus-stricken economy, Nikkei reports.
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has doubled down on his "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure investment program in hopes of stabilizing growth following the economic turmoil created by the Covid-19 pandemic, Nikkei reports.
Some Chinese technology companies and their owners have seen their wealth increase significantly amidst the coronavirus outbreak due to increased demand, Nikkei reports.
In a recent survey by the ISEAS-Yusof Institute, 79 percent of ASEAN experts surveyed think that China is the most influential economic power in the region, but the majority are not confident in the Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Russia is courting India to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a move that would boost bilateral economic ties and enhance the trade bloc's international status, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan’s Minister for Economic Affairs says that phase two of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which began January 1, will address the trade deficit caused by phase one with an expanded free trade agreement and an increased focus on industrialization and socio-economic development, Nikkei reports.
India recently announced plans to invest $1.4 trillion in infrastructure over the next five years as part of a fiscal stimulus package designed to counteract slowing economic growth, Nikkei reports.
China has completed a new island off the coast of Colombo, a $1.4 billion project funded entirely by Chinese investment. Sri Lanka is set to vote on legislation that, if passed, would make the island a special economic zone in an attempt to attract more foreign investment, Nikkei reports.
Historically, Kazakhstan's economic potential has been constrained by geographic extremes and uneven development. To address these challenges, the government has emphasized investment in transportation networks and urban economic centers, achieving steady growth and reducing inequality as a result, yet some risks remain.
A provincial government in the Solomon Islands has leased the island of Tulagi to China Sam Enterprise Group, a technology, investment, and energy conglomerate. The agreement grants the conglomerate wide-ranging powers to develop infrastructure on Tulagi and the surrounding islands and has drawn criticism from Solomons Attorney General as well as officials in the U.S. and Taiwan due to debt and legal concerns.
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has pushed national spending on infrastructure projects in hopes of creating an economic boom, though this model also carries risks, Nikkei reports.
Chinese contractors earned over $118 billion in overseas construction sales last year, nearly a quarter of the year's international construction revenue. This is largely related to Chinese construction companies involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is projected to be built around the world than currently exists. As our infrastructure is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore.
Major Japanese companies across industrial sectors are signing partnerships with Japanese telecommunication firms to develop products and services that make use of the super-charged national 5G network, set to open in 2020. The Japanese government is encouraging these partnerships, claiming that 5G will be the "basic infrastructure" of the 21st century, reports Nikkei.
Southeast Asian nations are investing in their urban rail infrastructure to ease road congestion impeding their further economic growth. In Hanoi, road congestion costs Vietnam as much as $1.2 billion in 2018, reports Nikkei.
Chinese investment in railways is expected to rise by about 6 percent year-over-year to $125 billion in 2019, part of a stimulus plan to shore up China’s lagging economy. China Railway, which manages the country’s rail-sector, expects to build 6,800km in new rail tracks this year, a 45 percent increase in construction over 2018.
North and South Korea are pushing railway cooperation as an engine for advancing inter-Korean relations. Railway connections could integrate the peninsula into a network that spans the continent, marking a significant diplomatic and geopolitical accomplishment. However, significant obstacles still remain.
Philippines and India have risen through the ranks in the World Economic Forum's latest Global Competitiveness Report, as the countries made improvements in infrastructure and innovation.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has leveraged infrastructure to promote pro-growth economic policies. However, Widodo may need to make trade-offs between growth and economic stability amid an uncertain economic outlook as the April 2019 elections approach, writes the Nikkei Asian Review.
The plummeting Turkish Lira may serve as a warning for emerging Asian economies who own significant BRI infrastructure debt. A drop in domestic currency can cause a crisis when time to repay debts, which are typically denominated in USD, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
In anticipation of an infrastructure spending boost, stocks have climbed for Chinese infrastructure companies.
The Chinese Communist Party's Politburo decided to implement a "proactive fiscal policy" and expand infrastructure investment with the goal of supporting economic growth as the effect of U.S. tariffs begin to kick in.
This report highlights recommendations on how the U.S. might effectively engage Southeast Asia's infrastructure challenges to foster greater stability and financial integration in the region.
The tug of war between quantity and quality is now at the center of Asia’s infrastructure contest.
The city of Karachi, Pakistan's business capital, is planning to improve its bus and rail networks to ease traffic and accelerate economic growth.
The Indonesian government hopes that the Kertajati International Airport currently under construction in West Java will lure businesses away from the capital and turn the region into an economic hub.
As Japan looks past the anticipated economic boost from the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is turning to infrastructure investment to buoy fiscal stimulus and economic growth beyond 2020.
Thai deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak seeks investment to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor, including channeling more than $45 billion into infrastructure projects ranging from airports and ports to highways and roads.
Data released by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics reveals that China's heavy infrastructure investment leading up to the Communist Party National Congress last October had its intended effect of boosting annual economic growth.
Domestic demand and the rollout of infrastructure projects in 2018 will continue to drive growth in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Infrastructure investment remains a primary driver of Indonesia's economic growth, leaving the economy more interconnected than ever before.
At a meeting in Tokyo, the leaders of Myanmar and Japan agreed to further cooperation in the areas of urban development, transportation, and power infrastructure in Myanmar.
A railway system under construction in Greater Jakarta avoided delays last after Indonesia's top ministers proposed a new funding scheme for the $2.14 billion project.
New projections show India's economy becoming third largest in the world, with other major ASEAN nations surging forward to propel Asian economic growth.
Shinzo Abe's reformulation of Abenomics emphasizes the need to raise Japan's infrastructure industry.
China canceled nearly 1,000 projects amid greater scrutiny of public-private partnerships, in addition to stronger environmental regulations and real estate purchasing limits.
Chinese premier proposes economic cooperation with former maritime rival Philippines.
Southeast Asian governments need to collect more taxes to sustain the region's infrastructure expansion, reports the OECD.
Malaysia announced it will spend over $1.53 billion to build new roads and bridges in an infrastructure development push that will help sustain growth in the key construction sector.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to begin a second five-year term, the 6.8 percent expansion of China's economy, largely driven by public investment in infrastructure projects, has put economic growth ahead of official targets.
Asia’s infrastructure push could create new alliances, reports FT emerging markets editor James Kynge, drawing upon Reconnecting Asia’s “Competing Visions” map series.
Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao discusses infrastructure investment's impact on inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Asia at the 2017 Global Development Forum.
The challenge today for multilateral development banks is not how to mobilize excess savings but how to catalyze abundant capital for development.
While the U.S. and Japan cannot offer as much investment as China in the region, they can offer their expertise and high standards, Matthew Goodman explains in an interview with Nikkei.