The Global Infrastructure Funding Gap – European International Contractors' Workshop And General Assembly

Author:Mr Robbie McCrea
Profession:Fenwick Elliott LLP

On 12 - 13 October 2017 the European International Contractors ("EIC") met in Paris to discuss the Global Infrastructure Funding Gap. Jatinder Garcha and Robbie McCrea attended this workshop, we believe, as the sole UK legal representatives.

The Infrastructure Funding Gap defined

Infrastructure is the essential physical building blocks of society, defined by the Collins English Dictionary as follows:

"The infrastructure of a country, society, or organisation consists of the basic facilities such as transport, communications, power supplies, and buildings, which enable it to function" [other key infrastructure includes water, energy, and public services generally].

The "Infrastructure Funding Gap", put very simply, is the shortfall between the funding deemed to be required to maintain and build infrastructure, and the funding that is actually available. A shortfall in funding for infrastructure is therefore a very serious issue, and the Global Infrastructure Funding Gap is estimated at over US$1 trillion annually, and growing.

The purpose of this workshop was to hear from leading organisations about the scale of the problem and what is being done to address it, and to discuss our own experiences, thoughts on solutions, and opportunities presented by new generations of infrastructure funding.

The issue discussed

The first workshop session focussed on assessing the scale of the issue, globally and within the EU, and discussing potential and current solutions.

Christian Jabre of KPMG and CICA Representative Roberto Morrison each provided their analysis of the scale of the Infrastructure Funding Gap from the global perspective. Mr Jabre highlighted the widening gap particularly in vulnerable regions such as Africa, whereas Mr Morrison focussed in particular on the funding gap in Latin America, which is estimated to increase from a historical underinvestment of 2.3% GDP to 4.3% GDP towards 2030.

The panel also considered the Funding Gap locally, and Salim Bensmail (who heads the French Ministry for Economic and Finance) set out some of the key issues in funding of public infrastructure projects in France, where there is an estimated €10 billion funding gap over the next 5 years for existing commitments in Transport alone.

The position in the EU generally was set out by Alessandro Carano (Member of Cabinet of the EU Commissioner for Transport), which has very successfully begun to address its infrastructure funding gap through the EU Investment...

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