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  • Publication
    Investment Commitments to Telecommunications Continued at Peak Levels in 2008
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-11) Izaguirre, Ada Karina; Jett, Alexander N.
    Investment commitments to telecommunications projects with private participation in low- and middle-income countries amounted to US$78.1 billion in 2008, according to just-released data from the Private Participation in Infrastructure Project database. This level of investment commitments (hereafter, investment) represents an increase of around 1 percent from the previous peak reached in 2007. As before, investment was driven by projects implemented in previous years. Projects that reached financial closure in 1990-2007 attracted investment of US$74.7 billion, while new projects implemented in 2008 accounted for US$3.4 billion. Investment in physical assets (that is, network expansion) grew by 7 percent to US$71.6 billion, reaching a new peak for the fourth consecutive year. Payments to the government (such as spectrum or concession fees and divestiture revenues) fell by 37 percent to US$6.5 billion, the lowest level since 2004. The data do not allow the separation by semester of additional investment in existing projects to see whether such investment slowed in the second half of the year with the full onset of the financial crisis. But its slower growth in 2008 as a whole compared with the previous four years suggests a more cautious approach to capital expenditure.