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Global Developments in Public Infrastructure Procurement

Evaluating Public–Private Partnerships and Other Procurement Options

Darrin Grimsey and Mervyn K. Lewis

There is widespread acceptance of the importance of infrastructure, but less agreement about how it should be funded and procured. While most public infrastructure is still provided in-house or by traditional procurement methods – with well-researched strengths and weaknesses – the development of service concession arrangements has seen a greater emphasis on lifecycle costing, risk assessment and asset design as featured in a variety of public private partnership (PPP) delivery models. This book examines the various procurement approaches, and provides a framework for comparing their advantages and disadvantages. Drawing on international experience, it considers some of the best and worst examples of PPPs, and infrastructure projects generally, along with the lessons for improving infrastructure procurement processes.
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Chapter 11: Conclusions

Evaluating Public–Private Partnerships and Other Procurement Options

Darrin Grimsey and Mervyn K. Lewis

Extract

This chapter begins where Chapter 1 left off, by examining the very different trajectories of infrastructure spending in the world’s two largest economies (the United States being larger in terms of US dollars, China in purchasing power parity terms). China is pushing on wholeheartedly with its infrastructure-led growth strategy. Domestically, it is aiming to transform itself into a ‘high-speed rail economy’, extending the existing 4 x 4 network (4 north-south, 4 east-west) into an 8 x 8 system. Internationally, there is the ambitious Belt and Road initiative, likely to dwarf anything the world has seen, comprising: first, a series of land-based trade and transport corridors known as the Silk Road Economic Belt; and second, the Twenty First Century Maritime Silk Road traversing the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and Africa, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. China has committed $1 trillion to Belt and Road over the next decade, and as much as $3 trillion in all. By contrast, until now the United States has been neglecting infrastructure maintenance and free-riding on the efforts of earlier generations, although President Trump has committed to spend $1 trillion on boosting infrastructure. The chapter examines three dimensions and three levels of the problem, and how US infrastructure (and other countries playing ‘catch-up’) can be paid for. Finally, the chapter draws together the themes of the volume, and what we believe has been learnt about procuring public infrastructure.

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