Australian companies have the tools to fill ASEAN’s infrastructure gaps

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The big story

Southeast Asia is evolving at a breakneck pace. Rapid economic development, urbanisation, and population growth have created a chasm between the available funds and the region’s colossal demand for infrastructure.


Unravelled: The Asian Development Bank has valued ASEAN’s infrastructure needs at a whopping $2.8 trillion, and if we add a climate-conscious touch, it’s $3.1 trillion. This means the annual investment requirement stands tall at $184 billion or a hefty $210 billion, depending on how green you want it.


What’s been done to close the gap?

For the infrastructure enthusiasts (you know who you are), here’s what’s cooking in the policy pot:

  • the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity prioritises their capacity building needs and customises specific actions.
  • In 2022, the G7 launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, promising a jaw-dropping $600 billion in financing.
  • Not to be outdone, Indonesia’s 2023 government working plan (RKP) is centering the spotlight on healthcare reform. Expect some exciting developments.
  • And here’s a game-changer: the Philippines is rewriting the rules by amending the Public Service Act in May 2023. They’ve flung the doors wide open, allowing for 100 per cent foreign ownership of public services in the country, think railways and airports.


Australia is getting skin in the game

Infrastructure is not just about the concrete: Australian companies are world-leading in many aspects of infrastructure development ranging from engineering, logistics and advanced manufacturing and there are several avenues to explore involvement in support of these mega projects.

  • Australia and Europe have signed a blockbuster bilateral agreement to tag-team their infrastructure financing efforts, especially in developing markets like ASEAN.
  • Australia’s recently announced 2040 ASEAN strategy is targeted at supporting Australian companies tackle ASEAN’s infra gaps
    • Via Export Finance Australia, $70.2 million will be on offer to help Australian overseas infrastructure endeavours.
    • Partner agencies are setting up investment dream teams who are acting as opportunity scouts, identifying the juiciest sectors and helping Australian companies jump in.



This is one of a six-part series looking at the business opportunities for businesses across the Australia – Southeast Asia corridor. The insights are powered by Via Communications Group: a communications agency focused on supporting international businesses with their cross-border communications needs across Asia. You can check them out at

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