Uncertainty prevails over the future of infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia as countries cut budgets and redirect funds to manage the impact of COVID-19
COVID-19 has exacted a major toll on the economies of South East Asia. COVID-19 has caused disruptions in every sector imaginable, and it has not spared the infrastructure construction sector. There are many reports of delays in infrastructure projects due to supply chain disruptions and low mobility among workers. The governments resulting in response measures to pandemic undertaken have had significant impacts on the infrastructure sector, which have in turn exposed and exacerbated existing vulnerabilities. In addition, uncertainties regarding project completion, project financing, and future pipelines amidst pandemic are surfacing.
Although COVID-19 is expected to interrupt infrastructure activity, construction is expected to pick up as countries in South East Asia, the most prominent construction market, have started planning life after COVID-19. As an early sign of recovery, economic activity resumed after weeks of a shutdown in South East Asia, and infrastructure construction has rebounded. Road projects have resumed in Vietnam at the record pace since the end of April. Vietnam was one of the first countries hit by the virus but also the first few to recover. The government in March announced a USD 1.16 billion stimulus package, which includes state spending on road infrastructure projects.