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South Asia needs $3.5 trillion infrastructure investment: World Bank

Published on Apr 2, 2014 6:07 PM
 
File picture of a child carrying water home through a brick factory on the outskirts of Yangon. A new report by the World Bank said the region lags significantly in its population's access to water supplies, power grids and roads. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - South Asia needs up to US$2.5 trillion (S$3.5 trillion) of investment in infrastructure by 2020 if the region is to make further gains in battling poverty and provide for its growing population, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

Despite boasting similar economic growth rates to East Asia, the region lags significantly in its population's access to water supplies, power grids and roads, and by some measures is comparable to Sub-Saharan Africa, the bank said in a new report.

"The South Asia region continues to suffer from a combination of insufficient economic growth, slow urbanisation, and huge infrastructure gaps that together could jeopardise future progress," said Luis Andres, report co-author and Lead Economist for Sustainable Development for the South Asia Region.

To bring its infrastructure up to scratch, the World Bank said the region needs to invest between 6.6 and 9.9 per cent of 2010 GDP a year.

 
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