PPPs propel Netherlands up infra rankings

The Netherlands has come out on top of the latest infrastructure rankings from law firm CMS, with the UK dropping from first to fourth.

In its 2017 Infrastructure Index, CMS said that the Netherlands’ “healthy multi-billion-euro pipeline in road and water PPPs” was among the factors propelling the country into first place.

It was followed by Canada in second and Germany in third – again, with those countries’ pro-PPP policies highlighted as reasons for their positions.

Meanwhile, the UK, which topped the index last year, has dropped to fourth, “with Brexit and political uncertainty having a considerable impact on the pipeline of projects and willingness of investors to commit funds”.

National Infrastructure Commission chair Lord Adonis warned that the UK “runs the risk of falling behind” other countries in the delivery of infrastructure.

“Swift decision-making on mega-projects, greater emphasis on smaller projects and a commitment to investment in tech utilities which will drive our economy for generations to come are essential components for a successful infrastructure strategy,” he added.

Australia was just behind the UK in the list, followed by Singapore, the US, Norway, France and the United Arab Emirates in the top 10.

“The CMS Infrastructure Index charts interesting shifts in the attractiveness of 40 countries across the globe and also highlights changes occurring in the infrastructure asset class bringing a new wave of innovation to a market long dependent on standardised PPPs for much of its dealflow,” said CMS co-head of infrastructure & project finance, Kirsty Duane.

“The quest for deals has already prompted the industry to explore less mature sectors such as energy storage, broadband, smart meters, as well as student accommodation and rolling stock. It is fascinating to see which countries are leading the way.”