ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation
Edited by Biswa Nath Bhattacharyay, Masahiro Kawai and Rajat M. Nag
Chapter 8: Institutional and policy frameworks for sustainable infrastructure
Regional infrastructure investment projects can bring many positive impacts, primarily by supporting the integration of national economies, creating economies of scale, and promoting trade, economic growth and poverty reduction. These kinds of impacts can be significant for landlocked, low-trade and resource-poor countries. However, regional infrastructure projects also hold the potential to impact affected parties negatively, for example by displacing communities inhabiting proposed investment sites, and causing environmental degradation. Regional routes, in particular those that open up remote areas, can also become conduits for communicable diseases and the trafficking of people and drugs. This chapter limits its consideration of infrastructure projects to those that lie within two main economic sectors, namely, energy (power and natural gas) and transport. Regional energy infrastructure projects are essentially cost-reducing investments which aim to secure energy supplies at a lower cost than domestic alternatives. Regional transport infrastructure projects have the potential to be both cost-reducing and trade-creating because they help both to cut transport costs and to enlarge markets beyond national boundaries.
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