Asia needs to invest $26tn by 2030 to resolve a serious infrastructure shortage that threatens to hold back some of the world's fastest-growing economies, the Asian Development Bank has warned.
This requires countries across the region to double total annual spending to about $1.7tn in areas ranging from transport to basic sanitation, the ADB says in a report.
The warning signals that even a big improvement in infrastructure in the past two decades has failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of economies, population and urbanisation. The shortfall is most acute outside China, which is already spending at more than 90 per cent of the levels it is projected to need.
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"The demand for infrastructure across Asia and the Pacific far outstrips current supply," Takehiko Nakao, president of the Manila-based ADB, said. "There is a huge gap still to provide power and roads and railways. All these things are missing."
The 45 countries surveyed in the report, which covers 2016-2030, are forecast to need investment of $26tn over 15 years to maintain growth, cut poverty and deal with climate change.