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.
This paper discusses the geopolitical dynamics of the Indo-Pacific, including the impacts of Covid-19, and emerging foreign policy initiatives, and offers recommendations for how Japan can solidify a comprehensive leadership role in this critical, multipolar region.
The U.S. is hosting Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto for a five-day trip to Washington, despite a long-standing ban over suspected human rights violations, following calls by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to build an alliance of like-minded democracies to balance against China. The visit comes amid rising Chinese investment in strategic projects in Indonesia, Nikkei reports.
Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga plans to visit Vietnam and Indonesia in mid-October to strengthen ties with ASEAN and curb China's regional ambitions, a move seen as a continuation of former Prime Minister Abe's policies on prioritizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Indonesia is in talks with the U.S. to relocate U.S.companies operating in China to the archipelago, as businesses and governments worldwide look to diversify supply chains in the wake of covid-19, Nikkei reports.
The Indonesian government has begun discussions on possible Japanese participation in a planned high-speed railway between Jakarta and Bandung, hoping to spur progress on the delayed Chinese-led project as costs mount, Nikkei reports.
China's Belt and Road infrastructure projects in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia have come to a standstill as countries prioritize fighting COVID-19, Nikkei reports.
The economic costs of the Covid-19 outbreak may limit the influence of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as the virus halts the flow of workers and materials for BRI projects outside of China, Nikkei reports.
Indonesia is seeking further Japanese investment in the Natuna Islands following tensions with Beijing over a standoff between Chinese and Indonesian vessels in neighboring waters, Nikkei reports.
Indonesia is in talks with Japan and the U.S. to establish a sovereign wealth fund for infrastructure and other development projects. The fund will help cover the estimated $33 billion needed to develop the country's new capital in East Kalimantan, Nikkei reports.
In an effort to reduce traffic congestion, Jakarta recently opened service on the Indonesian capital's first light rail transit line, a key project in Indonesian President Joko Widodo's infrastructure modernization plans, which also include an intercity metro and China-funded high-speed railway between Jakarta and Bandung, Nikkei reports.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has purchased a 45 percent stake in the 117 kilometer-long Cikopo-Plimanan Toll Road project, highlighting CPPIB's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, Nikkei reports.
Many Asian cities, such as Jakarta and Bangkok, are threatened by rising sea levels. Unless delayed water infrastructure projects are accelerated, large sections of these cities will be underwater in the near future, Nikkei reports.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has announced the location of Indonesia's new capital in East Kalimantan Province, the Indonesian part of Borneo island, amid concerns about mounting pollution and traffic congestion in Jakarta. Widodo has said that the capital will be green, with the latest ICT and smart city technology, however the nation remains divided over whether the costly relocation is necessary, Nikkei reports.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s new $178 billion budget prioritizes physical infrastructure development in hopes of propelling Indonesia into the G-7, Nikkei reports.
Southeast Asia is proving to be a hotbed for China's Belt and Road Initiative according to two new reports, with Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, and Vietnam topping the list of countries with the most contracts and investment out of an estimated $11 billion in the region overall in the first half of 2019, Nikkei reports.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has formally proposed to move the country's capital to Borneo. However, critics question the feasibility of developing a new capital city while the country simultaneously pursues Widodo's signature $400 billion infrastructure plan, which centers mainly in Java, Nikkei reports.
In a push to showcase their global economic reach and drive infrastructure development, India and Indonesia are beginning to advertise bids for the 2032 Olympics, Nikkei reports.
Cambodia and other nations across Southeast Asia are emerging as vital staging grounds for a new form of power struggle between China and its rivals. The growth of Beijing's vast Belt and Road Initiative since 2013 has galvanized the U.S. and its allies -- including Japan, India and Australia -- and prompted them to draw up infrastructure and security programs of their own, writes Gwen Robinson for the Nikkei Asian Review
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.
The U.S. should not conditionalize its infrastructure diplomacy to exclude or de-prioritize countries that participate in China’s Belt and Road. Extending support on an open basis will offer the broadest menu of options to governments and ensure that connectivity integrates, rather than divides, the Indo-Pacific.
Southeast Asia’s strategic importance for China, the United States, Japan, and others, and the advantages that will come with control over data flows, mean that the region’s decisions on digital infrastructure and internet governance will have implications that far transcend business outcomes.
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.
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.