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Infrastucture - 8/20/14

America’s infrastructure is said to be crumbling.  Our bridges are failing, our water mains are bursting and our electrical grid is leaking.  But the situation is far worse in much of the world – take the Philippines as an example.  As detailed by writer Floyd Whaley, the 2.2 million vehicles that occupy Manila’s crumbling road system cost the Philippines 876 billion pesos per annum, or about $20 billion in lost productivity and wasted energy according to a recent study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. 

That represents a serious loss to an economy that produces about $250 billion a year.  Despite is lack of sufficient transportation, communications and energy infrastructure, the Philippines continues to be one of Asia’s fastest expanding economies.  GDP expanded by more than 7 percent last year and will likely grow by more than 6 percent this year.   But analysts now fear that growth will slow dramatically due to inadequate infrastructure. 

In three of the last 4 years, part of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s ceiling collapsed.  Much of the Philippines also experiences regular blackouts and there are areas without reliable running water.  The government has identified 57 critical infrastructure projects, largely to be financed through public-private partnerships.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.