The biggest commercial bank in Japan is one of the latest Asian lenders to consider a ban on funding for new coal-fired power stations. Asian banks are recognizing the global threat from climate change and pulling back financing for the world's most carbon-intensive energy source, Nikkei reports.
As this year's host of the Group of 20 countries, Tokyo is taking the opportunity to push a novel idea: quality infrastructure investment, or QII, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea agreed to create a framework insuring private funding for infrastructure projects of up to $1.5 billion under a new program to be called the Infrastructure Investors Partnership, reports Nikkei.
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.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte agreed to uphold Japan's four conditions for high-quality infrastructure during a bilateral summit in Rome. Italy recently signed on to China's Belt and Road Initiative, sparking concerns the country would fall prey to "debt-trap diplomacy," reports Nikkei.
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.
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's political party has won a super majority in the country's parliamentary elections. The president's party ran on an anti-corruption message that stressed the need to investigate Chinese-financed infrastructure projects that have dramatically increased the country's debt-burned, reports Nikkei.
As Singapore's population grows, the city-state's Urban Redevelopment Authority has announced a plan to expand its urban infrastructure underground. Singapore's geographic constraints demand creative thinking from its government about how to further build out its infrastructure, reports Nikkei.
Japan plans to propose new guidelines on development assistance, tentatively titled the "G-20 principles on quality infrastructure investment,” when it hosts the Group of 20 summit in June. The proposal, which will frame anti-corruption and fiscal sustainability as key principles of infrastructure investment, is seen as an attempt to check China’s Belt and Road Initiative, reports Nikkei.
China's Belt and Road Initiative is transforming Nepal's domestic infrastructure through new roads, hydropower projects, and other industrial projects. Nepal has accommodated Chinese political interests to keep Chinese investments and exports coming, reports Nikkei.
While on a state visit to the Philippines, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad told journalists that if countries borrow money from China they cannot pay back, the country "may be under the control of the lender." The statement was read as a warning to Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who accepted a $9 billion credit line from China in 2016, reports Nikkei.
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader, convened a forum for foreign businesses in the impoverished Rakhine State, urging attendees to invest in infrastructure throughout the country's rural areas. With national elections in 2020, Suu Kyi has been touring outlying regions in Myanmar promising development initiatives to shore up support for her ruling party, reports Nikkei.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, promised to invest up to $100 billion in India's economy in the coming years, including in areas such as infrastructure, energy, and refining. The Crown Prince's visit to New Delhi follows a stop in neighboring Pakistan, where he signed $20 billion worth of investments in the country's flagging economy. The Crown Prince's next stop? Beijing.
Japan's government has decided to spend over $26.5 billion on infrastructure repairs through March 2021 after identifying 132 existing infrastructure problems at airports, along rivers, at hospitals and with the power grid.
On his trip to Asia, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will play up Washington's efforts to boost infrastructure investment in the region at a time when China is doing the same with its Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Japan and several other members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will propose updating the "APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment" to include new rules that take into consideration the financial sustainability and transparency of infrastructure debt.
Japan drafted a plan to offer greater assistance for infrastructure development overseas ahead of a key summit with China next week, as it prepares to pursue joint projects with Beijing in third countries, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Vietnam's Ministry of Investment and Planning issued a warning to its government about Chinese development assistance, citing concerns of high interest rates, project overruns, and a lack of local contribution to the projects.
Cambodians remain wary of Chinese infrastructure investment due to China’s growing influence in the country.
Japan will offer new loan terms to more businesses with an eye toward its 2020 target of $272 billion in infrastructure exports. The new government infrastructure policy expands low-interest loan eligibility to businesses where Japanese companies have stakes as low as 20 percent.
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.
Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang said he expects Japan will help Vietnam improve the quality of his country's infrastructure through the use of private funds, public-private partnerships, and build-operate-transfer schemes.
China's President Xi Jinping promised that his Belt and Road Initiative would be a "plan in the sunshine." But the BRI's outlook is darkening as some actual and potential partners raise concerns about transparency, debt sustainability, and even China's underlying strategic aims.
The Asian Development Bank hosted its annual meeting on May 3, during which representatives from China and Japan lobbied the bank about future lending strategies.
The head of the Asian Development Bank has warned countries against unsustainable borrowing to fund infrastructure projects, which could lead to debt traps and repayment trouble.
The tug of war between quantity and quality is now at the center of Asia’s infrastructure contest.
A conglomerate of 7 major companies has submitted a $6.75 billion proposal to expand and modernize Manila airport into a regional aviation hub.
India and Japan's joint vision for an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) could provide a strategic platform to compete with China, however, the plan currently lacks detail and will need to demonstrate commitment and the ability to deliver on both quality and speed.
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.
New projections show India's economy becoming third largest in the world, with other major ASEAN nations surging forward to propel Asian economic growth.
Japan agrees to lend Indonesia $1bn to develop the Patimban Port.
This report highlights essays from our Big Question series - an analysis collection that explore the drivers and implications of the massive infrastructure push taking place across the Eurasian continent.
Shinzo Abe has pledged to deliver nearly $9 billion in aid to the Philippines to rebuild battle-damaged areas and improve infrastructure throughout the country.
It is time to expand transparent, high-standard regional lending mechanisms – tools that will actually help nations instead of saddle them with mounting debt.
Asia is set to spend $26 trillion on airports and other infrastructure projects through 2030, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Lord George Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO, discusses "one of the gravest and most preventable security risks that faces people - the risk of death and disability on the world's roads."
Done right, Asia's massive infrastructure push could improve road safety, particularly for developing economies such as Kazakhstan.
For developing economies like Kazakhstan, Asia’s infrastructure push offers opportunities to improve road safety.
With the “Belt and Road” initiative, the fast establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the construction of ports and railways in Africa and elsewhere, and by pushing green energy, China is demonstrating what has been lost in the West in recent times.
As developing countries continue to experience population growth, rapid urbanization, and economic and industrial expansion, the need for effective and high-value infrastructure will remain acute.
The China example shows that it will be important for other countries to invest not only in high-quality infrastructure, but to also dedicate sufficient thought in how best to plan and deliver these projects to stay within cost and time budgets.
As developing countries continue to experience population growth, rapid urbanization, and economic and industrial expansion, the need for quality and lasting infrastructure will remain acute.
Our “Big Questions” series brings together leading scholars, former policymakers, and top industry experts to tackle critical questions.
By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s middle class will reside in Asia. The middle class will demand quality infrastructure that meets their needs, without corruption or waste.
Unless China shifts to fewer and higher-quality infrastructure investments, the country is headed for an economic crisis, which is likely to spread to the international economy.