An index from Arcadis which measures the attractiveness of countries in terms of infrastructure investment has seen the UK rise again this year, now placed at ninth worldwide.
Singapore topped the table, followed by Qatar and the UAE, which rise from fourth last year and bumping Canada one place down.
The measurement made by Arcadis Global Infrastructure Investment Index looks at factors such as infrastructure demand, how easy it is to do business, risk, and capacity to deliver.
Big infrastructure projects such as HS2, HS3 and Crossrail 3 all make the UK attractive to investors, according to Arcadis, but despite the newly formed National Infrastructure Commission, it said “the prolonged and politicised decision-making processes” still remained a barrier. Additionally, if the UK votes to leave the European Union, it’s expected to hit investment from other European firms.
Arcadis UK infrastructure director Chris Pike said: “The Government has made some bold commitments to improve the country’s infrastructure in recent years. New roads and high quality rail links hold big potential for the UK’s national and regional economies. This demand, coupled with the relatively stable nature of our economy, make the UK a very attractive option for those looking to invest.
“While it is positive that the UK has become more attractive to infrastructure investors over the last two years, we cannot afford to stand still. The Government needs to provide long-term clarity over infrastructure policy and look at the over-prescriptive nature of regulation in several key sectors. The National Infrastructure Commission is now up and running and is already beginning to show signs of real benefits. However, wading through the political quagmire is still going to be a challenge in the short term. On a local level, too, question marks still exist as to whether the local authorities will have the ability to take the ambitious plans through to fruition effectively.
“Unless politicians address these concerns, we could potentially see the pool of international investors who are looking to invest in UK infrastructure reduce. This investment will certainly be needed if we are to provide the kind of infrastructure our country needs to continue to prosper.”