chapter  7
21 Pages

Connectivity and infrastructure as 21st-century regional public goods

WithJayant Prasad

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Regional public goods (RPGs) could be promoted more effectively through an approach conceptualized around connectivity and infrastructure, instead of the conventional discourses on regional integration. RPGs with a focus on publicly available connectivity and infrastructure assets, created through partnerships, might instead appeal more as a socially constructive way to invest in regional development. Building infrastructure for better regional connectivity in the form of RPGs will require that four core aspects be addressed: institutional design, financing, sequencing, and measurement. RPG investments in commerce, transportation, information and communication technology (ICT), energy, and people-to-people connectivity projects will enlarge the basket of tradable benefits. Looking at all five clusters has the advantage of compensating in one of these for the losses in another. ICT are vital for effectively leveraging transportation connectivity and promoting greater sharing of knowledge and technology within the region, leading to least developed countries (LDCs) saving on their research and development costs.