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Asia’s ‘infrastructure gap’ threatens to hamper growth

Looking out at bumper-to-bumper Monday morning traffic crawling along the Philippine capital’s main avenue, taxi driver Ranilo Banez shook his head in frustration.

By TERESA CEROJANO and JOE McDONALD

Manila, Philippines, September 6, 2015

Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Looking out at bumper-to-bumper Monday morning traffic crawling along the Philippine capital’s main avenue, taxi driver Ranilo Banez shook his head in frustration.

Congestion has gotten so bad as the economy grew, he said, that a 10-kilometer (six-mile) trip that once took 30 minutes can stretch to two hours.

“We lose so much,” said Banez, 64. “We waste a lot of gasoline and time.”

The Philippines is far from alone. The outpouring of support for a Chinese-led bank to finance infrastructure highlights a gap in Asia’s success story: From power-starved India to Thailand’s overburdened railways, developing economies face a shortage of basic facilities so severe that it threatens to hold back growth and living standards.

The Asian Development Bank has estimated developing Asian economies need to invest $8 trillion in the decade through 2020 or some 80 times the planned $100 billion capital of Beijing’s bank.

 

More at Associated Press

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