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Side Event (co-organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and ADB)

Bridging the Infrastructure Gap in Asia

Friday, 5 May 2017, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm, Annex Hall F201-202


Sharmila ChavalyJoint Secretary of Infrastructure and Energy Division, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, India

Sharmila Chavaly serves as joint secretary (infrastructure and energy) at the Ministry of Finance of India. She is an officer of the Indian Railways and her assignments have included included public procurement, PPPs, project finance, structuring and appraisal, foreign exchange management, and multilateral/bilateral loan negotiations. She is also currently on the boards of three companies, OVL (the overseas investment arm of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited, and the Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited.

Kuntoro MangkusubrotoChairman of the School Advisory Council, School of Business and Management, Bandung Institute of Technology

Kuntoro Mangkusubroto is a decision science professor and the founder of the School of Business and Management of the Bandung Institute of Technology. He was the head of the Aceh-Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency in 2005-2009 where he led the of US$8 billion post-tsunami reconstruction. He served as the head of the President’s Delivery Unit in Indonesia in 2009-2014, and previously was minister of mines and energy and CEO of multiple state-owned enterprises in the power and mining sectors.

Kitti Limskul Professor, Saitama University

Kitti Limskul served as vice minister for Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education of Thailand from 2001 to 2006 and 2014, where he engaged in economic and social development policy formulation. Among these, he promoted a self-help development movement called “OTOP (One Tambon One Product)” and played a main role in drafting the Thailand Professional Qualification Framework" law". He holds a PhD in economics from Nagoya University and served in the faculty of economics at Chulalongkorn University from 1980 to 2015.

Koki HirotaChief Economist, Japan International Cooperation Agency

Koki Hirota has been engaging in Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) for 35 years. Hirota is currently chief economist at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). His career includes having been director general of operation strategy and director general of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, through which he managed Japan’s ODA implementation such as concessional loans, grants, and technical cooperation to developing countries. He received a BA in economics from University of Tokyo and doctorate in economics from Saitama University in Japan.

Juzhong ZhuangDeputy Chief Economist and Deputy Director General, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, ADB

Mr. Zhuang joined ADB in 1997 and is currently deputy chief economist and deputy director general of ADB's Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department. He has written extensively on Asian development, and latest publications include the co-edited books Inequality in Asia and the Pacific (Routledge 2014), and Managing Middle Income Transition: The Challenges Facing China (Edward Elgar 2015). He was a research officer of development economics at London School of Economics in 1992-1997, and holds a PhD in economics from Manchester University.


Yumiko NodaPartner, Head of Infrastructure and PPP, Japan, PwC Advisory LLC

Yumiko Noda leads infrastructure and PPP practice as well as the Cities Solution Centre. She is recognized as a pioneer who introduced PFI concept into Japan and contributed to the development of Japan’s PPP market. Between 2007 and 2009, she was deputy mayor of Yokohama City. Currently, she serves as a member of various government committees both within and outside of Japan. She holds an MBA from Harvard University and BA from Tokyo University.

Seminar Summary

A report by ADB, Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs, and research being conducted by JICA offer a comprehensive view of the economic and social infrastructure challenge facing developing Asia and the Pacific. This seminar discussed how policymakers can better manage, design, and implement policies to bridge their infrastructure gaps.

Juzhong Zhuang presented findings from ADB’s new report. According to the study, developing Asia and the Pacific will need to invest around $1.7 trillion per year from 2016 to 2030 ($26 trillion in total) in economic infrastructure to maintain growth momentum and respond to climate change. The infrastructure investment gap will be 2.4% of projected GDP from 2016 to 2020; however, it will rise to 5% without the People’s Republic of China for the remaining economies.

Following this, Koki Hirota introduced preliminary findings from JICA’s research on demand estimates for disaster prevention infrastructure in Asia. Although the research is only halfway in its analysis, results from model country studies indicate for the first time that there is a substantial demand for social infrastructure in addition to economic infrastructure. It also noted that the investment demand for disaster prevention is also substantial, and a key consideration is how to establish the ecosystem to mainstream such investment within the development planning and budgetary process.

The panel recognized the significant gap between infrastructure demand and actual investment, and called for governments to adjust and innovate in order to effectively use available resources as well as create the supporting ecosystem for investment to come in. Sharmila Chavaly shared India’s innovative financing experiences such as PPP, infrastructure debt funds, and municipal bonds, which were identified as advanced examples to fill the gap. On disaster prevention, the lessons from Aceh’s experiences after the Asian tsunami in 2004 indicate that flexibility in the decision-making process is key to quick recovery; the importance of mainstreaming disaster prevention investment was also reiterated. Finally, the panel acknowledged the importance of investing in social infrastructure, as social development is considered as key to achieving continuous growth for countries at middle-income stage.