In 2016, the long-standing partnership between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) led to the launch of Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure or LEAP.

LEAP complements ADB’s role in creating an enabling environment for private sector participation in Asia and the Pacific. It is committed to removing bankability constraints for the private sector and supporting the development of quality infrastructure across the region.

The partnership between ADB and JICA, through LEAP, is helping emerging economies meet their development goals.

Here’s how LEAP works:

Infographic of LEAP JICA process


High-quality infrastructure is vital for the region’s emerging economies to leap forward. But infrastructure development across developing Asia and the Pacific requires massive financing. Infrastructure investments of $1.7 trillion a year through 2030 are needed to maintain growth, reduce poverty, and respond to climate change.

The public sector cannot shoulder all these costs. Engaging the private sector is critical to closing this financing gap.

“We actively partner with commercial banks, institutional investors, and development finance institutions to cofinance ADB projects. ADB and JICA have successfully built a unique and well-diversified LEAP portfolio across various industries, including renewable energy, information and communications technology, and health,” shares Suzanne Gaboury, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure (LEAP) is an infrastructure cofinancing vehicle created in 2016 as part of the long-standing partnership between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“JICA, in accordance with the Development Cooperation Charter set out by the Japanese Government, is working on human security and quality growth. JICA and ADB are the two organizations that have the largest number of development projects and experiences in this region. We are combining JICA's funding with ADB's good network of identifying quality infrastructure projects in the region. Along with that LEAP program has a mechanism of combining ADB's resources with JICA's resources,” explains Hara Shohei, Director General, Operations Strategy Department, JICA.

Capitalized with a $1.5 billion commitment by JICA, LEAP finances a broad range of projects to create strong development impacts in ADB member economies in Asia and the Pacific.

In Papua New Guinea, access to high-quality internet delivered by satellite is improving its public services.

"We want connectivity to help people not only in the major urban areas but into the remoter parts of Papua New Guinea. We want to ensure that justice is accessible to our people. The introduction of e-government into the public service is going to have a massive impact on our country. I believe connectivity is going to bring Papua New Guinea to the rest of the world," states Sir Gibbs Salika, Chief of Justice, Papua New Guinea.

In Eastern Indonesia, investments to develop four solar power plants also support training programs for livelihood and skills development of Indonesian women.

"Vena Energy offered a training opportunity here in Lombok in 2018. I registered because I was interested to learn a new skill. I was motivated to finish the training because of the benefits of working in a good company located in my own village. It would keep me close to my family," recalls Fatma Mulyana, Operations Staff, Vena Energy.

These and other LEAP-supported high-quality and sustainable private infrastructure projects are delivering development results across emerging economies.

“Without LEAP program, we could not have achieved those outcomes. And we would like to have more of these by working closer with ADB,” continues Shohei.

“ADB has many tools in its toolbox. We can provide loans, grants and technical assistance, commercial and concessional capital, which provides de-risking of projects. We look forward to continuing our collaboration in the future years to come,” ends Gaboury.

Boosting private investment for infrastructure projects ensures that we have access to electricity, we are all interconnected physically with robust transport networks, and digitally with affordable and reliable internet, and most importantly, LEAP-funded projects ensure that our communities are healthy and resilient.

ADB and JICA, through LEAP, are helping countries and communities to achieve these goals. By financing high-quality infrastructure, the partnership is helping the region’s emerging economies leap forward. Together, ADB and JICA are working to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.