ASEAN has been expanding, but shortfalls in infrastructure investment limit its growth: According to the Asian Development Bank, US$92 billion more in infrastructure investment is needed for the region to maintain its growth momentum and eliminate poverty. This gap in investment needs is increasingly being addressed by the various countries: For example, Vietnam leads Southeast Asia in infrastructure spending of 5.7% of GDP, while the Philippines Government has said it aims to spend 7% of GDP on infrastructure over the next three years.
Upcoming infrastructure projects allows the private sector increased opportunities for development, with multiplier effects for the economies and increasing the attractiveness of individual countries to foreign investment. On the real estate front, these projects allow for decentralised commercial clusters, more affordable and accessible housing options, and tourism growth. In the logistics sector, trade flows are expected to improve as a result of shorter transport times and lower costs.
These development opportunities work on several levels. For cities, metro lines will help ease congestion; for countries, it can make possible the growth of secondary cities. It will additionally help the region move towards economic integration, in line with the aims of the ASEAN Economic Community.