Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
India recently announced plans to invest $1.4 trillion in infrastructure over the next five years as part of a fiscal stimulus package designed to counteract slowing economic growth, Nikkei reports.
According to Fitch Solutions, Tokyo-backed projects in Southeast Asia have topped $367 billion, outspending China and making Japan the top provider of infrastructure and development aid in the region, Nikkei reports.
U.S. Exim Bank and Japan's state-backed Nippon Export and Investment Insurance have signed a deal enabling them to jointly mitigate export risks faced by Japanese-led energy and other infrastructure projects that have U.S. participation, Nikkei reports.
Questions of economic development, military power projection, political influence, and global economic suzerainty form the backdrop for what is emerging as a global competition centered on the most economically dynamic region of the world—Asia. And infrastructure development is at the center of that contest.
On October 17, the CSIS Japan Chair hosted the governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Tadashi Maeda, to discuss the role of infrastructure development in maintaining a free and open Pacific region and responding to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
On October 16th, CSIS Senior Vice President and Simon Chair in Political Economy, Matthew P. Goodman, hosted Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao for a conversation about quality infrastructure in Asia, China's Belt and Road Initiative, and more.
Taiwan's pitch to build Asian government infrastructure has led to a rise in contracts from four in 2015 to 20 last year, including on metros and roads in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, Nikkei reports
The timetable for an $83 billion project to build an ultrafast magnetic-levitation rail line between Tokyo and Nagoya has been delayed due to environmental concerns, Nikkei reports.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has purchased a 45 percent stake in the 117 kilometer-long Cikopo-Plimanan Toll Road project, highlighting CPPIB's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, Nikkei reports.
With a potential hydropower capacity of at least 40,000 megawatts from its Himalayan rivers, Nepal is looking to export some of its excess hydropower energy to its neighbors. However, rocky relations between Kathmandu and New Delhi, along with domestic unrest in Nepal have put these plans in doubt, Nikkei reports.
Many Asian cities, such as Jakarta and Bangkok, are threatened by rising sea levels. Unless delayed water infrastructure projects are accelerated, large sections of these cities will be underwater in the near future, Nikkei reports.
China has encouraged local governments to raise more funding from the bond market than planned in 2019 to keep them investing in infrastructure, despite an uncertain economic outlook, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's policymakers have cited financial pressures and the need to balance ties between China and the U.S. as the reasons behind slow progress on The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
China's Belt and Road Initiative presents potential opportunities for India to upgrade its roads, rail networks, and ports through bridging its saving-infrastructure gap, Nikkei reports.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has announced the location of Indonesia's new capital in East Kalimantan Province, the Indonesian part of Borneo island, amid concerns about mounting pollution and traffic congestion in Jakarta. Widodo has said that the capital will be green, with the latest ICT and smart city technology, however the nation remains divided over whether the costly relocation is necessary, Nikkei reports.
Drawing from academic literature, evaluations, and technical consultations, this report analyses human rights and environmental impacts at the project and macroeconomic level to give recommendations on how to mitigate the potential risks infrastructure investment can pose for achieving equality, human rights, and the environmental sustainability.
Leaders from Japan and Africa on Friday agreed on the need for infrastructure development that accounts for a country's ability to pay off debt, a veiled reference to China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese president Xi Jinping plan to sign deals for infrastructure and funding support from China's Belt and Road Initiative during Duterte's visit to Beijing this week, Nikkei reports.
Vietnam's demand for energy has grown at 13 percent per year since 2000. Traditionally, Vietnam has satisfied this demand with electricity generated by coal and hydropower. Moving forward, Vietnam is seeking to attract investment in renewable energy infrastructure, such as wind and solar, Nikkei reports.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s new $178 billion budget prioritizes physical infrastructure development in hopes of propelling Indonesia into the G-7, Nikkei reports.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has formally proposed to move the country's capital to Borneo. However, critics question the feasibility of developing a new capital city while the country simultaneously pursues Widodo's signature $400 billion infrastructure plan, which centers mainly in Java, Nikkei reports.
Japan has pledged to invest $2.84 billion in Africa's infrastructure to encourage transparency, in what some have interpreted as a response to corruption allegations linked to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized improving India's infrastructure, the vast majority of Indian households lack access to the infrastructure needed to participate in the digital economy, highlighting a substantial obstacle to further economic growth, Nikkei reports.
While Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure projects have sparked concerns in recipient countries, the shift of Chinese manufacturing overseas has been embraced when it comes with technology transfer and job creation for locals, Nikkei reports.
A proposed $10 trillion "Development Green New Deal" recently put forward in the U.S. would fund green infrastructure projects in Asia and elsewhere that could compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
In a push to showcase their global economic reach and drive infrastructure development, India and Indonesia are beginning to advertise bids for the 2032 Olympics, Nikkei reports.
India needs an estimated $700 billion to repair and upgrade its basic infrastructure by 2022 to sustain economic development, Nikkei reports.
The China National Nuclear Corp. finished structural work for the Hualong One nuclear reactor in the Pakistani city of Karachi this June. Chinese President Xi Jinping hopes to install similar nuclear technology at more locations along the Belt and Road Initiative, with 30 units by 2030, which is estimated to create 5 million jobs and provide a total economic boost of $145 billion, Nikkei reports.
Despite infrastructure development and employment opportunities generated under the Belt and Road Initiative, there are growing concerns and anti-Chinese sentiment among Cambodians, especially after the collapse of a Chinese-funded apartment construction project that left 28 dead on June 22, 2019, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
Foreign investment, led by China, in transportation and telecommunications quadrupled to $1 billion in the last six months as Myanmar approved a number of infrastructure projects, Nikkei reports.
On June 28-29, government leaders representing 85 percent of the global economy convened for the fourteenth G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. In the wake of the meeting, the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy hosted experts including Japan's ambassador to the G20, Koji Tomita, to discuss major outcomes, including China's endorsement of the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is courting private sector investors to jointly fund infrastructure projects, Nikkei reports.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment bank will begin lending in local-currencies in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, and Russia. The move mitigates the risks foreign exchange fluctuations pose to private-sector companies investing in emerging markets' infrastructure, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Supporters of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have long argued that the initiative would spur development and improve Pakistan’s macroeconomic fortunes. As Pakistan faces its thirteenth IMF bailout in the last thirty years, it is clear that without serious reforms, the debt incurred to fund CPEC could do more economic harm than good.
It is critical that public-sector officials responsible for infrastructure development—both at the local and national levels—commit to transparent practices to secure sustainable financing mechanisms.
At this week's Group of 20 meeting in Japan, finance ministers and central bankers are expected to sign sustainable infrastructure investment guidelines to help prevent developing economies from taking on dangerous amounts of debt, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Cambodia and other nations across Southeast Asia are emerging as vital staging grounds for a new form of power struggle between China and its rivals. The growth of Beijing's vast Belt and Road Initiative since 2013 has galvanized the U.S. and its allies -- including Japan, India and Australia -- and prompted them to draw up infrastructure and security programs of their own, writes Gwen Robinson for the Nikkei Asian Review
The biggest commercial bank in Japan is one of the latest Asian lenders to consider a ban on funding for new coal-fired power stations. Asian banks are recognizing the global threat from climate change and pulling back financing for the world's most carbon-intensive energy source, Nikkei reports.
As this year's host of the Group of 20 countries, Tokyo is taking the opportunity to push a novel idea: quality infrastructure investment, or QII, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea agreed to create a framework insuring private funding for infrastructure projects of up to $1.5 billion under a new program to be called the Infrastructure Investors Partnership, reports Nikkei.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte agreed to uphold Japan's four conditions for high-quality infrastructure during a bilateral summit in Rome. Italy recently signed on to China's Belt and Road Initiative, sparking concerns the country would fall prey to "debt-trap diplomacy," reports Nikkei.
Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is projected to be built around the world than currently exists. As our infrastructure is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore.
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's political party has won a super majority in the country's parliamentary elections. The president's party ran on an anti-corruption message that stressed the need to investigate Chinese-financed infrastructure projects that have dramatically increased the country's debt-burned, reports Nikkei.
As Singapore's population grows, the city-state's Urban Redevelopment Authority has announced a plan to expand its urban infrastructure underground. Singapore's geographic constraints demand creative thinking from its government about how to further build out its infrastructure, reports Nikkei.
Japan plans to propose new guidelines on development assistance, tentatively titled the "G-20 principles on quality infrastructure investment,” when it hosts the Group of 20 summit in June. The proposal, which will frame anti-corruption and fiscal sustainability as key principles of infrastructure investment, is seen as an attempt to check China’s Belt and Road Initiative, reports Nikkei.
China's Belt and Road Initiative is transforming Nepal's domestic infrastructure through new roads, hydropower projects, and other industrial projects. Nepal has accommodated Chinese political interests to keep Chinese investments and exports coming, reports Nikkei.
While on a state visit to the Philippines, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad told journalists that if countries borrow money from China they cannot pay back, the country "may be under the control of the lender." The statement was read as a warning to Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who accepted a $9 billion credit line from China in 2016, reports Nikkei.
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader, convened a forum for foreign businesses in the impoverished Rakhine State, urging attendees to invest in infrastructure throughout the country's rural areas. With national elections in 2020, Suu Kyi has been touring outlying regions in Myanmar promising development initiatives to shore up support for her ruling party, reports Nikkei.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, promised to invest up to $100 billion in India's economy in the coming years, including in areas such as infrastructure, energy, and refining. The Crown Prince's visit to New Delhi follows a stop in neighboring Pakistan, where he signed $20 billion worth of investments in the country's flagging economy. The Crown Prince's next stop? Beijing.