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WORLD | May 15, 2024

New World Bank study analyses private sector infrastructure investment

/ Our Today

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A bird’s eye view of the waterfront skyline of central Paramaribo, Suriname. (Photo: Inter-American Development Bank)

A recently released World Bank study has revealed that private infrastructure spending in low- and middle-income nations reached US$86 billion in 2023. 

Although investments decreased by five per cent from 2022, they still matched the five-year average in the prior years. The study shows that more nations got private investments in infrastructure over a larger sample of projects, even though the overall amount of investment decreased. 

Some 68 nations got investments across 322 projects in 2023, as opposed to 260 projects and 54 countries in 2022. Countries that accomplished their first private participation in infrastructure (PPI) agreements in excess of ten year include Guinea Bissau, Libya, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Suriname.

In 2023, private infrastructure investments fell in most regions, with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and East Asia and Pacific (EAP) being two major exceptions. PPI investment levels nearly doubled from US$1.4 billion in 2022 to US$2.9 billion in 2023, as MENA kept up its growing trajectory. 

Following a three-year lag as the region recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, the report details that investment levels in the EAP region reached their pre-pandemic levels. As it relates to sectoral trends, there was a threefold increase in energy investment levels for 2023,with the majority of this increase being directly related toward EAP. 

In line with the international acceleration to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, 97 per cent of electricity generation projects were renewable in 2023 in comparison to 93 per centfor the prior five-year period.

Regarding the poorest countries in the world, 26 countries that are a part of the International Development Association (IDA) were given investment commitments totalling US$4.3 billion across 53 projects in 2023, resulting in an 18 per cent increase which set a record in terms of number of projects.

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