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Asian investors and Australian infrastructure: Towards a future-proof partnership

A confluence of trends will see Asian investors take an expanding role in Australia’s efforts to address its future infrastructure needs, supporting more innovative and customer-centric approaches to infrastructure that meet investors’ financial, sustainability and business development goals.

To read the full report, the infographic and watch the video, please download:

Full Report: Asian investors and Australian infrastructure (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Infographic: Asian investors and Australian infrastructure (PDF, 675 KB)

Video: John Barry (Head of Capital Financing Asia, NAB) on Asia-Australia infrastructure partnership (MP4, 69.3MB) and video script (PDF, 30 KB)

While in many respects Australia is indeed the ‘lucky country’, like many other prosperous and fast-growing nations it is grappling with infrastructure constraints. To address this, Australia needs to do a better job not only of managing its current stock of infrastructure, but also planning for the years to come -- both processes in which Asian investors play a critical role.

There are multiple factors that drive a closer Asia-Australia infrastructure partnership. Asia and Australia are increasingly integrated through various trade and investment pacts. Asian investors have a long history of involvement in Australian infrastructure assets and are increasingly conscious of the potential of these assets providing favourable risk-adjusted returns in a yield-scarce environment.

A confluence of trends will see Asian investors take an expanding role in Australia’s efforts to address its future infrastructure needs, supporting more innovative and customer-centric approaches to infrastructure that meet investors’ financial, sustainability and business development goals.

The most significant trend in Australia’s infrastructure sector -- a trend that will ensure it generates the demand and financial resources needed to thrive -- is the emerging focus on the end-customer, and on infrastructure as a form of service delivery rather than a physical asset. This new focus will also meet the demands of the investors leading Australia’s infrastructure charge, through the refinement of regulation and financing mechanisms, a renewed emphasis on efficiency in infrastructure planning and execution, and the cultivation of a growing customer base.

More importantly, changes improving the infrastructure picture for investors - a more transparent project pipeline; long-term planning supported by a more bipartisan infrastructure approach; greater diversity in funding mechanisms and project backers -- will ultimately benefit end-customers, by helping ensure infrastructure assets are designed with efficiency and results in mind, and prove financially sustainable over the long term.

The shift to more customer-centric infrastructure will both be driven by and to the benefit of Asian investors. Australia’s deep experience in developing infrastructure as a service -- that is, benchmarked against targets, with the end-user at the centre -- will also prove invaluable to markets in Asia and farther afield as also they seek to build infrastructure that is better designed, better funded and better delivered.

For more information, please read the summary in Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, and the full report in Japanese.