What will it take? Private investment in infrastructure projects proves resilient to pandemic shocks but has remained stagnant overall despite strong financial performance. Published today, our annual Infrastructure Monitor report brings new insights into key roadblocks and reveals promising trends for sustainable investment.
Infrastructure Monitor is the GI Hub’s flagship report on the state of investment in infrastructure. The 2021 report examines global private investment in infrastructure projects, infrastructure investment performance, project preparation, ESG factors in infrastructure investment, and COVID-19 impacts.
This year’s report shows private investment in infrastructure projects was resilient to pandemic shocks, while infrastructure investments continued to gain attractive financial returns. It also reveals that despite these positives, much more is needed to meet the global infrastructure gap and enable net-zero ambitions to be realised by 2050.
Other key findings are:
- Overall private investment in infrastructure projects in primary markets has been stagnant for seven years running. The USD156 billion invested by the private sector in infrastructure projects represents just 0.2% of global GDP, far shy of the 5% of GDP some studies suggest is required to close the infrastructure gap by 2040. Alongside the USD3.2 trillion of announced infrastructure stimulus, this represents a massive opportunity for the private sector to leverage.
- In less than a decade, green private investment has grown to half of all global private investment in infrastructure projects, but private investment in renewables still needs to increase significantly to reach net-zero targets, and investors need to look beyond renewables to sectors like transport, where green private investment remains low.
- High-income countries attract three-quarters of all private investment in infrastructure projects, and while the level of investment remained relatively resilient through the pandemic in high-income countries, it declined by 28% in middle- and low-income countries.
- Returns on listed and unlisted infrastructure equities, which have strongly increased over the years, stalled only briefly during the pandemic before quickly bouncing back.
- Infrastructure debt continues to consistently perform better than non-infrastructure debt, although the full impacts of the pandemic and subsequent economic fallout remain to be seen.
These and other actionable data insights in Infrastructure Monitor help policymakers, investors, and others make informed decisions about future infrastructure investments to achieve better outcomes. Click to view the key findings and explore the full report.