Asia's Fast Growth Brings High Infrastructure Costs

DEVELOPING countries in the Asian and Pacific region will need to invest up to $1 trillion on physical infrastructure over the next six years if economic development there is to stay on course, a new study by the Asian Development Bank in Manila finds.

Over the past 10 years, the economic performance of the Asian and Pacific region exceeded that of any other in the world. Since 1990, regional gross domestic product has grown between 6 and 7 percent a year, with variations between individual countries, the report says. Regional investment in infrastructure is estimated to be about 5 percent of GDP each year.

The report says the power sector will require investments of $300 billion to $350 billion between now and 2000. Telecommunications will require $150 billion; transport about $300 billion to $350 billion; and water supply and sanitation about $80 billion to $100 billion.

In many countries, the demand for infrastructure has grown faster than GDP over the past decade, the report says. It is unlikely that the Asian and Pacific region will be able to meet the resource requirements for infrastructure development by relying on traditional sources of financing. The report says the countries will have to improve cost recovery (people paying for the services they use) and encourage private sector investment. The bank lent $20.6 billion - or 43 percent of its total lending ($47.7 billion) - through the end of 1993 to finance 435 infrastructure projects in the region. US population goes West ... and South

MOVING South or West? You're not alone. In a report released today, the United States Census Bureau projects large increases in the number of Americans living in the southern and western states, while the number located in the northeastern and midwestern states dwindles.

The study is the Census Bureau's first set of state population projections to present figures for five racial and ethnic groups.

According to Paul Campbell, the report's author, Texas is expected to replace New York as the country's second-most populous state by the middle of this year. By 2020, Florida is projected to move into the No. 3 spot, displacing New York again. California will remain No. 1, Mr. Campbell says.

Whites will account for more than one-half of the absolute increase in the West and South from 1993-2020, the report says. New York and California are projected to rank first and second respectively in terms of the country's black population during the 1993-2020 period. The country's Asian and Pacific Islander population living in California is expected to nearly triple from 3.5 million in 1993 to 9.7 million in 2020. California's Hispanic population should double during the same period, the report says.

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