A new KPMG report, Emerging Trends in Infrastructure, aims to help decision-makers and investors better understand the changes flowing through the sector.
Around the world, uncertainty is rife. Political agendas and social expectations are changing. Global, regional and national institutions are weakening. Power is shifting. And technology is disrupting everything.
In 2016, we led our Emerging Trends report with the prediction that ‘no normal will become the new normal’. This year, we see a continuation of many of those trends. Political uncertainty will undoubtedly continue, both in the developed and the emerging markets. Funding, as opposed to finance, will continue to be a key challenge, even while governments strive to develop innovative mechanisms to unlock their pipelines. The demand to get more from existing investments will only heighten.
At the same time, new trends are emerging (or, in some cases, evolving). Governments are rethinking their approach to funding and capital investment. Transparency in public sector decision making is increasing as public discourse rises. And access to new technologies is changing the way governments and investors plan and manage infrastructure.
However, in most cases we have seen either more talk than action or more action than talk. Both can be a problem. When it comes to the creation of credit enhancement mechanisms or the value of technology within the sector, there has been too much talk and fine tuning and not enough action. In other cases – such as the drive to more fully account for social and environmental impacts of investments or the privatization of assets – more talk is certainly required.
This year, we expect a shift towards more responsible leadership, both from governments and from the private sector. And this will require the public and the private sector to rethink their approach to funding, developing and operating infrastructure. It will also require them to gain a better understanding of what their constituents, stakeholders and users actually want.
We hope that this year’s Emerging Trends in Infrastructure helps decision-makers and investors to better understand the changes flowing through the sector. And, in doing so, we hope to catalyze responsible leadership on a global scale and a wider debate on infrastructure morality. To discuss these trends and their impacts in more detail, we encourage you to contact your local KPMG infrastructure team.