Australia’s longstanding investment in South Asia

South Asia Regional Infrastructure Connectivity (SARIC) is an initiative funded by the Australian Government. SARIC supports the overall goal to deepen economic linkages and support regional prosperity and inclusive growth. The opportunities under SARIC will support in enabling more, better-quality and socially inclusive connectivity infrastructure in South Asia, with a focus on the energy and transport sector. SARIC countries include Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

SARIC builds on Australia’s longstanding investment in South Asian infrastructure and trade facilitation, and the well-earned reputation for innovation in infrastructure policy, including asset recycling and public-private partnerships. The program will make Australian infrastructure expertise available to the region in engineering, construction, finance, public-private partnership, public policy and law. Australia’s investment in SARIC reflects the increasing importance of South Asia in the global economy, and the potential for Australian expertise and enterprise to contribute to the region’s growth.

SARIC works in partnership with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in assisting host governments in preparing a pipeline of transport and energy projects that are eligible for public and/or private financing, and that connect the economies in the region. At the same time, the program seeks to train and connect individuals and institutions from the public and private sectors to contribute to connectivity projects in the region. The program builds on Australia’s previous initiatives in South Asia in the areas of infrastructure, cross-border trade, and private sector investment mobilisation. Particularly, SARIC adopted and expanded the World Bank’s Infrastructure for Growth’s (IFG) program logic, a program that ran from 2012 to 2018 and to which Australia made a significant contribution.


Partnerships for Recovery

Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response sets out Australia’s short-term priorities for the Indo-Pacific region starting in 2020/21. SARIC is anchored in these priorities:

  • Economic Recovery
  • Embedding a culture of working with the private sector
  • Effective partnerships enabling Australia to make a difference
  • Preserving Australian interests
  • New ways of working

SARIC’s end of investment outcomes are two-fold:

A pipeline of quality connectivity investments in energy and transport infrastructure that have progressed opportunities for private and/or public financing

Individuals and institutions connected to SARIC contribute to cross-border exchange and facilitation of connectivity project