WASHINGTON, D.C. — CG/LA Infrastructure LLC announced the results of its annual survey of public- and private-sector executives on the U.S. infrastructure market. Overall, the scores suggest that the United States is falling into second-rate status in the infrastructure arena, becoming a country that does not attract top-flight expertise or resources to its infrastructure business. In particular, responses on questions about leadership and vision yielded lower scores than any previously surveyed country.
Results were released ahead of next week’s third North America Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum, being held Oct. 11-13, 2011 in Washington D.C., an event that draws several hundred international infrastructure development companies, banks, and policymakers to develop expertise and collaborate on projects.
According to Norman F. Anderson, president and CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure, the survey paints a dark picture for U.S. infrastructure. “We have conducted this survey around the world, and the overall results for the U.S. are some of the lowest scores that we have seen. U.S. scores are on par with Peru, in terms of the country’s ability to develop infrastructure projects, and well below those of Brazil, India, China, and other countries with which we compete for scarce infrastructure dollars and expertise. Particularly in the wake of President Obama’s jobs plan and call for an infrastructure bank, the survey reveals the need for urgent action and a clear infrastructure strategy for the US.”
The Country Infrastructure Capacity (CIC) survey is a CG/LA proprietary tool initially developed with the World Economic Forum to score a country’s capacity to develop infrastructure projects. The CIC survey polls respondents on eight areas fundamental for infrastructure project development, calling for a ranking from 1 to 10, with scores below 7 indicating a failing grade.
The U.S. Score for 2011 is 43.8, compared with Brazil’s most recent score of 50.8 and India’s score of 51.3. Following are the United States’ scores in individual categories:
• Overall Vision (3.5);
• Public Sector Technical Capacity (4.95);
• Public Sector Strategic Capacity (4.45);
• Great Projects (6.64);
• Leadership (4.18);
• Long-term Project Performance (6.43);
• Engineering, Procurement, Construction firms (7.62);
• Local Equity Capacity (6.05).
Respondents were also asked to briefly describe business conditions in the infrastructure marketplace: 93 percent of executives surveyed said that business conditions in 2012 will be either the same, or slightly better, than 2011 — and virtually all participants said that 2011 is as bad as 2009, the dark year of the recession.
Aside from the extraordinarily low scores, there are a number of important findings. First, two scores — for overall vision and for leadership — are the lowest for any country surveyed. Second, on a positive note, the score for domestic engineering, procurement, and construction firms (EPC) is a passing grade, indicating confidence in the technical capabilities of the U.S. private sector to build necessary infrastructure projects.
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