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International relations

Asia to lure private infrastructure loans with insurance scheme

Plan would seek to fill the gap in demand for power plants, rail, roads and waterworks

Workers build a pier in Indonesia. Insurance for private-sector financing could help fill the severe gap in funding for Asian infrastructure projects.   © Reuters

NADI, Fiji -- ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea will draw private investors and banks to invest in Asian infrastructure projects by insuring financing of up to $1.5 billion, according to a draft plan seen by Nikkei on Friday.

There is a tremendous need for infrastructure in Asia but a shortfall of funds. The Asian Development Bank estimates demand at $1.34 trillion a year for 25 developing members but puts their annual investment at just $881 billion. Funds are particularly sparse in the construction phase, delaying power plant, road and rail projects. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the trio are together known as ASEAN+3.

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