At Naypyidaw’s international airport, members of staff in stylish uniforms are at their posts behind ranks of check-in counters. The large departure hall is brightly lit and the air temperature pleasantly cooled. Two pilots and a glamorous young air hostess in traditional Burmese dress breeze across the polished marble floor of a terminal that would grace any European capital.

The only thing missing in this palace of modernity is passengers. Continue reading »

Visitors to the office of Benigno Aquino III, the Philippine president, sometimes come away these days with a glossy 179-page, bright yellow booklet whose page headings bear scintillating titles like: “Taal Lake Fish Port & Processing Complex” and “Calamba – Los Banos Expressway.”

The booklet is a list of projects being tendered under the government’s programme of public-private partnerships (PPP) through which Mr Aquino hopes to finance the bulk of the country’s infrastructure needs. Continue reading »