London infrastructure conference upbeat as rugby bets go awry
By Brett Cole, ansarada
Thank goodness infrastructure advisers and investors don’t pick the winners of sporting contests.
At the Australian British Infrastructure Catalyst in London, 75 percent of conference participants, picked England to beat Australian at the World Cup rugby union tournament. Australia won the game by 20 points.
Global infrastructure spending will rise to more than $9 trillion a year by 2025 from $4 trillion per year in 2012, according to consultants at PwC. Asia-Pacific will account for about 60 percent of global infrastructure spending in 10 years while Western Europe’s share will shrink to less than 10 percent, says PwC.
“There is a growing pool of money, particularly from pension funds, that is available for infrastructure projects around the world,” says Peter Gemell, executive chairman of Sydney-based Everything Infrastructure Group.
Infrastructure experts at the London conference were asked whether the risk has increased for such projects because of their sheer size and cost? Sixty percent of the respondents said the risks had increased “somewhat” while 20 percent said risk had not increased at all.
The key issue to solve to ensure the delivery of infrastructure was a skill set among government officials, according to the conference participants. The simplicity of projects and standardized legal and commercial frameworks were also equally important, the conference participants said.
Funding was not perceived to be a problem for infrastructure projects, said the London participants.
Still, the conference participants said the delivery strategy of infrastructure projects offers the greatest opportunity for improvement in terms of time, cost and effort. Worryingly perhaps, processes and technology are not increasing efficiency and decreasing risk ay the rate the London conference participants had hoped.
“The similar laws and tax structures that exist between the UK, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong make for the easy transfer of skills, expertise and finance,” says Mr. Gemell. “But there must be a strategic approach to the pipeline of projects and a long-term view of infrastructure.”