Of the People, for the People: Economic Corridors, High-Speed Railways, and Quality of Life in Post-COVID-19 Asia
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt global economic activity. However, what is underway beneath the tip of this iceberg offers strong clues on future prospects for trade and transportation development in the region.
As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to disrupt global economic activity, developing Asia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is now expected to have contracted by 0.7% in 2020. GDP is projected to grow by 6.8% in 2021 (Asian Development Bank 2020). However, beyond these numbers, what is underway beneath the tip of this iceberg offers strong clues on future prospects of trade and transportation development in the region.
- The ongoing global shift in supply-chain priorities is certain to boost the pace of Transportation 2.0 and accelerate regional connectivity.
- Success of the Delhi Metro provided impetus for the idea of a wider footprint of urban rail transit projects across India.
- High-speed railway development has been the natural extension of the Japan–India partnership in transport infrastructure development.
- Japan has set the precedent of how development of high-speed corridors can usher in development and prosperity (quality of life), and how that gives rise to further high-speed railway development.
- As India expands its high-speed railway footprint, the emphasis is certain to widen from “Make in India” to “Make for India” tech solutions to suit its unique conditions and topography.
- Asia continues to take the lead in high-speed corridor development; the People’s Republic of China alone has built nearly 30,000 kilometers of high-speed railway network over the last two decades.
Policy Brief No: 2021-2