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.
Given the economic and strategic importance of connectivity, many governments and regional organizations have launched infrastructure programs in the Indo-Pacific in the last few years. The U.S.’s new infrastructure strategies must not only respond to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, but also consider the complex landscape of overlapping initiatives already on offer in the Indo-Pacific.
In the coming years, as governments fine-tune their cyber governance models and lay out plans for 5G networks, the United States and its allies should accelerate efforts to work with Southeast Asian partners on issues related to digital infrastructure and governance if they hope to compete with China's Digital Silk Road.
Reconnecting Asia tracks infrastructure developments across Eurasia, a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of projects and trends we will be watching in 2019.
Three major Indonesian coal miners have announced plans to invest in renewable energy projects, as financing for coal power plants becomes increasingly difficult to obtain and renewables are decreasing in cost.
Indonesian state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina announced the signing of a $4 billion contract with two South Korean firms for a major upgrade of the Balikpapan refinery in East Kalimantan province, one of six mega refinery projects aimed at increasing Indonesia's fuel production capacity and reducing reliance on imports.
Indonesia's vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno said on Tuesday that the government will review the Chinese-led construction of a high-speed rail line connecting Jakarta and the city of Bandung, if the opposition wins Indonesia's presidential election next year.
A Japanese-led consortium of international banks will jointly lend $1.31 billion for a thermal power station in West Java, Indonesia fueled by liquefied natural gas.
Five years after the announcement of China's Belt and Road, the ambitious drive to build new infrastructure across Eurasia has produced a mixed track record on key issues such as its energy footprint, debt sustainability, and environmental impact.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
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.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo unveiled his draft state budget for 2019 as he prepares for re-election, which presents the slowest infrastructure budget increase since he took office in 2014.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo is reportedly considering cutting back on his signature infrastructure projects to suppress imports of construction materials in order to protect the value of the rupiah, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has formally announced his re-election campaign for next year's election. While the economy has grown over his tenure, his signature infrastructure projects have stalled and allowed the opposition to attack his economic policies, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
The U.S.'s recently announced plan to invest $113 million in infrastructure throughout the Indo-Pacific region will have a limited impact and pales in comparison to China's multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, according to Dr. James Crabtree of the National University of Singapore.
Indonesian President Widodo's flagship infrastructure program seems to put him in favor in his re-election bid. The outcome of upcoming regional elections will gauge if the public is happy with Widodo's infrastructure drive and influence the way he addresses infrastructure leading up to national elections next April.
Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, is pushing to turn the country into a fulcrum of maritime trade along China’s Belt and Road initiative with a $50.6 billion plan to build up the maritime sector, including the development of 24 "strategic ports."
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 port of Patimban, estimated to cost $3 billion, is going to be financed by a Japanese loan and may be built by a Japanese-Indonesian team. The port is envisioned to become a transport hub and alleviate problems for Japanese companies operating in the West Java industrial park.
In the face of uncertainty about how the U.S. and China will respond to regional challenges, South Korea will likely continue to opt for flexible partnerships, such as with Russia, where specific interests overlap or converge.
An Indonesian state-owned construction picks a new leader to manage President Widodo’s infrastructure surge.
A special report by Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker which leverages data from the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project has found that China's Belt and Road initiative holds considerable promise for countries in need of infrastructure investment along its route, however, participation has been hampered by challenges ranging from a lack of participation by local workers and banks to unmanageable debt hangovers.
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.
Debt levels of four major state-owned construction companies in Indonesia jumped by 57 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, raising alarm about excessive borrowing to fund the government's infrastructure push.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is working to strengthen ties with Japan in hopes of speeding infrastructure construction projects and showing progress ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
While Indonesian president Widodo has made some strides in infrastructure development, such as high-speed rail lines and regional airports, other major project delays have stunted the country's growth, Nikkei reports.
An uptick in lending for Belt and Road infrastructure projects in Indonesia led China to overtake Japan as the country’s second largest foreign investor in 2017.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes all ten ASEAN leaders to New Dehli in an attempt to strengthen trade and connectivity with the bloc.
Domestic demand and the rollout of infrastructure projects in 2018 will continue to drive growth in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Indonesia launched rail service linking central Jakarta with Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in a bid to combat highway congestion.
Infrastructure investment remains a primary driver of Indonesia's economic growth, leaving the economy more interconnected than ever before.
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.
State-owned enterprises are shouldering much of the risk for the $355 billion infrastructure drive in Indonesia.
Southeast Asian governments need to collect more taxes to sustain the region's infrastructure expansion, reports the OECD.
Japan agrees to lend Indonesia $1bn to develop the Patimban Port.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is seeking to fund 247 infrastructure projects worth $355 billion b
Photo credit: GovernmentZA, Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
Long delays in procuring the necessary land to build Indonesia's Chinese-funded Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail have created doubts about the project's future.
Indonesia may forego its plans to have Japan construct a 750km rail link between Jakarta and Surabaya in favor of inviting other countries to bid on the project in an attempt to lower costs.
Indonesia is considering a 17 percent jump in infrastructure spending in 2018 which could dedicate as much as $34.2 billion for new projects.
Indonesia will issue $900 million in government bonds to fund President Joko Widodo's ambitious infrastructure agenda.