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Spatial Economic Analysis: Road Transport Performance and Impact of Transportation Project

March 10, 2022




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  • Transport infrastructure can have profound impact by connecting people, jobs, and services. Globally, nearly one billion people live in rural areas without access to all weather roads. The World Bank, the largest provider of development financing for transport, commits $5.3bn to rural roads in South Asia alone. Connectivity is also a priority area for the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with 15% of its finance has gone to 23 projects of the transport sector by 2021. But, at the end of the day, how do our client countries perform in terms of connectivity? To what extent, our investments have generated impact in these countries toward improved connectivity and broader sustainable development goals? 

    To support countries’ investment decisions, the Economics department of AIIB has started to develop the capacity to conduct spatial economic analysis to shed lights on questions such as these for transport projects and for investment in other sectors. As an application, they conducted an analysis on India’s road transport performance applying a standardized spatially granular indicator and assessed the economic impact of a Rural Road Project led by the Gujarat state government, to which AIIB contributed during its first phase.

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    Hans Timmer


    Hans Timmer is the World Bank's Chief Economist for South Asia. He assumed this position on January 1, 2019. Before that, he was the Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asia region of the World Bank. Timmer is a quantitative international macroeconomist and econometrician with 30 years of management experience in leading teams of modelers, forecasters, and policy analysts. His experience ranges from long-term structural analyses of the economic impact of environmental policies, trade policies, and tax reforms, to short-term monitoring of the business cycle and analysis of monetary and fiscal policies. Before joining the World Bank in 2000, Timmer was head of international economic analysis at the Central Planning Bureau in the Netherlands.


    Yue Li

    Senior Economist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    Yue Li’s work covers international economics, firm dynamics, economic geography, and urban economics. Her research has led to academic publications, among others in the Journal of International Economics and the Journal of Urban Economics. Yue joined the Economics Department of AIIB in June, 2021 and has been leading a spatial economic analysis initiative. Prior to joining AIIB, Yue worked in Global Investment Climate Unit and the Office of the Chief Economist for the South Asia region at the World Bank, and has contributed to several World Bank policy reports, including the “World Development Report 2013: Jobs”.


    Siddharth Sharma

    Senior Economist, South Asia Region, World Bank

    Siddharth Sharma is a Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for South Asia at the World Bank. He specializes in the micro economic analysis of firms and labor markets. Since joining the World Bank as Young Professional in 2010, Siddharth has worked on a range of analytical and operational projects in support of productivity and job growth in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia. His research has been published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, and he has also contributed chapters to several World Bank policy reports, including the 2017 World Development Report on “Governance and the Law”. Siddharth has a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.


    Wei Winnie Wang

    Senior Transport Specialist, South Asia Region, World Bank

    Winnie Wei Wang is a Senior Transport Specialist with the World Bank Group. She has worked at the Headquarters in Washington DC for the past nine years before relocating to Colombo, Sri Lanka office in 2020. Professionally trained in transportation planning, she has worked on urban transport, roads, railways and logistics across countries in North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to join the World Bank, she worked at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for Metrorail planning including the introduction of the new silver line in Washington DC, and Transport for London (TfL) for intermodal transport planning in London. Ms. Wang is a graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she obtained Master of Transportation Planning degree with full fellowship.

  • 7:00-7:05 am

    Opening remarks by Hans Timmer

    7:05-7:30 am

    Yue Li presents study findings | Presentation

    7:30-7:40 am

    Siddharth Sharma provides brief remarks| Presentation

    7:40-7:50 am

    Wei Wang provides brief remarks

    7:50-7:55 am


    7:55-8:00 am

    Close session


  • TOPIC: Spatial Economic Analysis: Road Transport Performance and Impact of Transportation Project
  • DATE: Thursday, March 10, 2022
  • TIME: 7:00-8:00 am EST
  • CONTACT: Office of the Chief Economist in South Asia