ADB's Focus on Infrastructure

In the Spotlight

  • Let's Build Asia

    Asia and the Pacific has seen dramatic improvements in infrastructure that have driven growth, reduced poverty, and improved people's lives. Yet over 400 million Asians still lack electricity; roughly 300 million have no access to safe drinking water; and 1.5 billion people lack basic sanitation.

  • Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

    This report examines developing Asia’s infrastructure—defined as transport, power, telecommunications, water supply and sanitation. It examines how much the region has been investing in infrastructure and what will likely be needed through 2030.

  • Built to Last: Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Project, PRC

    ADB helped clean up Suzhou Creek in central Shanghai in the early 2000s. The waterway is now a green artery and no longer a health hazard to the three million people who live on its banks.

  • Infrastructure Development in Asia: 12 Things to Know

    Developing countries in Asia and the Pacific need to invest $26 trillion in infrastructure from 2016 to 2030, or $1.7 trillion per year, if the region is to maintain its growth momentum, eradicate poverty, and respond to climate change, according to ADB's report, Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs.

Why does ADB work in infrastructure?

Infrastructure – defined as a country’s physical facilities, such as roads, power plants, and bridges – is critical for regional development. Poor infrastructure slows economic growth and limits the investment needed to create the jobs that help lift people out of poverty. Power outages hurt factory productivity. Bad roads, ports and airports stifle flows of people, goods, and services. Inadequate water and sanitation prevent millions from leading healthy, productive lives.

How is ADB supporting infrastructure? 

ADB provides loans, grants and technical assistance to its developing member countries, to the private sector and through public-private partnerships to support the building and maintenance of infrastructure. The majority is in water, energy, transport, urban development, and information and communications technology. ADB is scaling up its operations by 50% from $14 billion in 2014 to more than $20 billion in 2020, with 70% of this amount going toward infrastructure. 

How much infrastructure does Asia and the Pacific need? 

Though nearly $900 billion is spent a year on infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific, that’s substantially less than the $1.7 trillion that ADB estimates the region needs annually from 2016 until 2030 to keep pace with climate change and economic growth. Energy and transport account for nearly 90% of total investment needs. If our vision of a region free of poverty is to become reality, new ways of funding regional infrastructure need to be developed, along with a greater role for the private sector.


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