THE region's governments are in danger of overspending on big infrastructure projects while economic growth tapers off, says CS First Boston regional strategist Paul Schulte. Speaking at the firm's global investment seminar yesterday, Mr Schulte said Asian countries outside Japan could see a total of US$1 trillion eaten up by huge power, transport and other key projects. He said countries in the region would have to meet the cost of massive upscaling of basic needs - a doubling of spending on telecommunications, airports and aircraft, on top of major power and transport improvements. The minimum spending level that would allow sustainable economic growth of six per cent would be between $600 billion and 630 billion, he said. Mr Schulte said: ''Earlier in the year, I was worried about this, because if you looked at what had to be spent and what was available, there was a big gap. ''Governments are going to spend the absolute minimum, and they should not spend more because you then have excess of capacity, for example, in power. ''I think it's double, but the danger is people could overspend.'' He said further trouble could be sparked by political turmoil and corruption eating away at funds, especially in such countries as Indonesia and the Philippines. ''In some places, the danger is just not getting enough foreign money,'' he said. ''If you fund by using foreign savings you become beholden to foreign banks looking for a return on their investment, and if the money is misspent you get into problems.'' But he added that Hong Kong's robust coffers meant the territory was somewhat at odds with the rest of the region. Some 70 per cent of the infrastructure spending is to come from private companies.