According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report, infrastructure needs in developing countries in Asia will exceed US$22.6 trillion through 2030, or US$1.5 trillion per year, if the region is to maintain growth momentum, according to a new flagship.

Infrastructure in developing countries in Asia remains far from adequate. More than 400 million Asians still lack electricity; roughly 300 million have no access to safe drinking water and 1.5 billion lack basic sanitation. In many countries, power outages constrain economic growth.

Between 2016 and 2030, the region needs to invest US$14.7 trillion for power, US$8.4 trillion for transport, US$2.3 trillion for telecommunications, and US$800 billion for water and sanitation improvements. In the transport sector, shifts from more carbon-intensive modes of travel (private cars) to less carbon-intensive modes (public transit and railways) will require investments.

The Belt and Road Initiative
What is Belt and Road Initiative (B&R)?

Introduced in 2013, a global development strategy spearheaded by China to improve trade and economic integration across Asia, Europe, and Africa.

How will it be implemented?
  • Uses free-trade agreements and infrastructure projects – including roads, ports and railways – to create a modern Silk Road spanning some 65 countries
  • Expected to link more than 60 countries, accounting for over 30% of global GDP, 62% of population and 75% of known energy reserves

At maturity, investment in the Belt and Road Initiative is expected to reach US$4 trillion. And China has invested US$90b in projects while banks have provided upwards of US$300b in loans, according to Reuters citing Chinese officials.

How will it be financed?
  • China established the US$40b Silk Road Fund in early 2014 to fund the scheme’s infrastructure projects
  • Chinese financial institutions and multilaterals such as Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the China-backed global bank and the New Development Bank (NDB), a Shanghai-based bank for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries
  • Public-Private Partnership (“PPP”) – funding from private companies,
    with suitable incentives and safeguards

In March 2019, PM Sheikh Hasina visited Singapore. During the visit,
a slew of agreements were signed, forging more business opportunities between Singapore and Bangladesh.

International Enterprise Singapore signed a pact with Bangladesh’s
Public Private Partnership Authority to help Singapore companies
participate directly in PPP infrastructure projects in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh government announced a 38% increase in the 2019 budget for transport and 44% increase for power.

Demand for Bangladesh infrastructure solutions has surged, especially in

  • Power
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Logistics
  • Ports

In March 2019, DPM Teo Chee Hean visited Vietnam and opened Vietnam-Singapore Cooperation Centre in Hanoi.

Vietnam-Singapore Cooperation Centre plans to widen the type of aid Singapore offers to Asean neighbours, such as

  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

They also agreed to step up cooperation in

  • Technology and innovation
  • Food and agriculture trade
  • Air and maritime connectivity
  • Facilitation of trade and investment
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