Infrastructure Up, Opportunities Abound

The global infrastructure market totaled $3.1 trillion in 2016. Growth is estimated to top $4.2 trillion in 2020 and that is expected to reach six percent on an annual basis until 2020. In 2016, developing economies accounted for 62 percent of total infrastructure spending, and are forecasted to represent 66 percent by 2020.

Infrastructure spending is closely aligned with GDP (gross domestic product) growth; annual average global growth is projected to stand at three percent in 2016-2020. This comes following a quieter 2011-2015, when global economic growth averaged 2.2 percent.

Analysis has been done on the drivers and barriers to infrastructure growth, including current quality of infrastructure base, gaps in infrastructure needs, level of public finances, demographics, use of public-private partnership mechanisms for infrastructure funding, investment in regions, and projected cancellations for infrastructure projects. China accounts for 29 percent of the world's infrastructure expenditure, and is set to grow at 10.5 percent annually to 2020.

In terms of investment opportunities for construction firms, there currently are more than 12,700 public and private large-scale infrastructure projects worldwide, from initial announcement to the execution phase. Collectively, these projects are worth $14.2 trillion.

Power and electricity projects dominate at a cost of $5.4 trillion, while railways, valued at $5.2 trillion, account for the second-largest sector. Road projects recorded the third-largest cost share of $1.9 trillion, followed by airports and ports at $1.2 trillion, and water and sewerage at $421.5 billion.

The promising growth of this market will boost construction—and help drive the advent of new technologies in the construction industry.

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