By Maribeth Hunsinger, JD Candidate 2019
Image Credit: PowderPhotography
The relatively young nations of Central Asia have been slowly opening their economies to foreign investment over the past twenty years. However, infrastructure shortfalls in the region, including failing transportation and utility networks, are hampering continued economic growth and development.
The World Bank estimates that over $1 trillion a year in additional infrastructure investment will be required to meet the current demand shortfall in emerging markets and developing economies. The gap in global infrastructure investment has a tangible impact on quality of life worldwide: 2.6 billion people have no access to electricity, while 800 million people have no access to clean water. Infrastructure spending differs not only across regions, but also across countries within the same region, depending on factors such as government funding, legal frameworks, and security issues.
Inadequate infrastructure can reduce output, lower productivity, impede the flow of people and goods within and between countries, and impose higher transaction costs. However, the governments of most Central Asian states have relatively limited financial capacity to rehabilitate existing infrastructure or fund new infrastructure. These nations are facing declining growth projections and budgets following the 2014-15 drop in global oil prices, and they will likely need to find different methods of financing their widening infrastructure gaps. Continue reading Promoting Infrastructure Development in Central Asia Through Public-Private Partnerships