infrastructure Johannes Eisele/Stringer

Bridging the Infrastructure Gap

Too many countries have been underinvesting in infrastructure for decades, resulting in everyday inconveniences and, worse, creating roadblocks to economic growth. While a major infusion of funding is needed to address infrastructure gaps, finding the money is only part of the solution.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – Every day, millions of people across the developed and developing world inch through gridlock or squeeze into packed subway cars to get to and from work. And that is likely to be only one of many frequent – if not daily – confrontations with infrastructure systems that are bursting at the seams. In advanced and emerging economies alike, roads and bridges need repair, water systems are aging or inadequate, and power grids are overburdened, leading to blackouts.

Too many countries have been underinvesting in infrastructure for decades, resulting in everyday inconveniences and, worse, creating roadblocks to economic growth. While a major infusion of funding is needed to address infrastructure gaps, finding the money is only part of the solution. Governments also need to reform infrastructure planning and oversight. The public can no longer afford to accept projects with costs that spiral out of control.

Infrastructure projects’ unique ability to create jobs in the short term and boost productivity in the long term is well known to policymakers. Yet talk has rarely translated into action, despite the record-low interest rates of the past eight years.

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