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UK the ninth most attractive market for infrastructure investment in Arcadis index

The UK is the ninth most attractive market for infrastructure investment worldwide, according to Arcadis research.

The Global Infrastructure Investment Index found the UK had improved when it came to attracting investment, having risen one place since last year and four places since 2012.

The index ranks countries by their potential to attract investment in its annual report. Singapore remains the most attractive nation for investment, followed by Qatar and the UAE.

Malaysia rose from seventh to fifth, while Sweden dropped from fifth to seventh. The US is one place above the UK in eighth.

Arcadis said the “stable and relatively low-risk nature of [the UK’s] business environment” was attracting investors, coupled with government support for major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail 2 and High Speed 2.

But on delivery and removing infrastructure from party politics, it was less successful, with the “prolonged and politicised decision-making processes involved” described as a “barrier”.

Arcadis also highlighted the impact of the EU referendum as a negative for the infrastructure market.

It said: “Uncertainty created in the run-up to the vote has seen the deal flow slow as banks and contractors wait for the result. European firms, in particular, who are major investors in the UK, are expected by some to respond negatively to an exit.”

Arcadis UK infrastructure director Chris Pike said: “While it is positive that the UK has become more attractive to infrastructure investors over the last two years, we cannot afford to stand still. The government needs to provide long-term clarity over infrastructure policy and look at the over-prescriptive nature of regulation in several key sectors.”

Mr Pike also questioned whether local authorities had the “ability” to take local plans through to fruition.

He added: “Unless politicians address these concerns, we could potentially see the pool of international investors who are looking to invest in UK infrastructure reduce. This investment will certainly be needed if we are to provide the kind of infrastructure our country needs to continue to prosper.”

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