Security Challenges
Volume 16, No.3 (2020)

Infrastructure Choices and the Future of the Indo-Pacific

Cross-border infrastructure is the next frontier for the economic integration of the Indo-Pacific. The developmental success of the Indo Pacific has been predicated on regional integration, with trade, investment and technology flows unlocking complementarities between economies. As several decades of policy liberalisation has driven down regulatory barriers to trade and investment, it is now physical links road, rail, shipping, energy and telecommunications connections — which are the principal challenge for the next phase of regional integration. Unfortunately, the Indo-Pacific is plagued by a range of ‘infrastructure gaps’, as governments have struggled to supply infrastructure at the pace and quality required by their high-speed growth. Estimates suggest that USD 0.7 trillion of new investment per year, every year, is required to close these gaps. Building better infrastructural linkages is a top priority for all governments in the region.

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