Quality Infrastructure Investment: Ways to Increase the Rate of Return for Infrastructure Investments

By Naoyuki Yoshino, Nella Hendriyetty, and Saloni Lakhia

Abstract

Infrastructure is crucially important to foster a countries’ economic development and prosperity. The demand for infrastructure development is quite high. However, the financing side still cannot fulfill this demand. To address this gap, this paper points out the importance of high-quality infrastructure investment where quality is measured by how much economic and social value can be created by infrastructure projects in a region. Simultaneously, the values created by the infrastructure could be utilized to address the financing gap of infrastructure investment. High-quality infrastructure will create high spill-over effects which will be reflected in the increase of the growth rate and tax revenue in the affected areas. Traditionally, the increase of tax revenue has been retained by governments. This study reveals that if part of the tax revenue can be directly distributed to infrastructure shareholders, including investors and landowners, the financing gap problem would diminish, and the construction time could be shortened. Building quality infrastructure does not refer to simply physical infrastructure, but also reforms, setting up the correct legal and institutional framework for infrastructure development. New models are being proposed for these reforms such as city infrastructure, hometown trust funds, and promotion of SMEs and start-up businesses, along with changing the face of educational and land trust for land acquisition.