Tokyo, 14 April 2017 - Emerging Asian economies will continue to show robust growth in the medium term, with projected annual growth in Gross Domestic Product of 6.2% on average over the 2017-2021 period, according to the OECD Development Centre’s projections.
Amidst these positive growth prospects, the region faces the challenge of meeting its growing need for infrastructure in transport, communications, waste management and power generation. What matters is not just the volume of infrastructure but also its quality to ensure regional connectivity and sustainable development. For example, governments need to address better the long-term social and environmental impacts of infrastructure investments, reflecting the G7 Ise-shima principles and the conclusions of the G20 Hangzhou Summit (Sept. 2016).
Meeting the region’s needs for quality infrastructure requires governments to put in place new incentives for investors, to devise new forms of finance that combine public and private funds, and to diversify financial instruments. This would include such fiscal and financial efforts as using tax revenues, issuing government bonds and injecting viability gap funds.
Quality infrastructureis also key toguaranteeing the safety and welfare of Asian citizens. Asia’s situation as one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions is exacerbated by the unpredictable effects of climate change. Ensuring that large metropolitan areas are resilient to major risks requires enhanced coordination across the various levels of government and mainstreaming risk management policies across all sectors and administrative levels, as outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
These issues are at the heart of the 1st International Economic Forum on Asia Enhancing regional integration and development through quality infrastructure and resilience,held today in Tokyo. The Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) co-organised the event with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) as part of the Centre’s growing collaboration with Asia. Speakers included Toshihiro Nikai, a senior Member of the House of Representatives of Japan, Kentaro Sonoura, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría (read his full speach), Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA, and Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development.
The Forum’s debates build on the Development Centre’s work on quality infrastructure investment in Asia which analyses the required economic, environmental and policy priorities. The Forum contributes to the ongoing policy dialogue facilitated by the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme, currently co-chaired by Japan, and builds on the OECD Development Centre’s long-standing partnerships with regional organisations.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact the OECD Development Centre’s Press Office (Bochra.Kriout@oecd.org; Tel: +33 (0)145 24 82 96).