Skip to Content

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)

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.