Asia’s massive infrastructure opportunity

On June 4th, Luke Sayers (@LukeSayers), CEO of PwC in Australia and Vice-Chair of PwC Asia, Tweeted: “Infrastructure development in #Asia will lead to a wave of opportunity for Australia. What’s next…and what’s needed?”

In that tweet, shared by Richard Smith (@RWS_01), Sydney-based legal business development professional, Sayers cited an October, 2014 study by PwC entitled: Infrastructure development in Asia Pacific (APEC) The next 10 years.  In particular, the report details how:  “Much of [the world’s] future spending in infrastructure will be driven by the faster-growing economies in Asia, where the share of global infrastructure spending is set to grow from 30% in 2012 to 40% in 2018 and 48% by 2025, largely driven by the People’s Republic of China (China). Asia’s infrastructure market is forecast to grow by 7% to 8% annually over the next decade, nearing US$5.3 trillion by 2025 or 60% of the world total.”

Increased spending is gathering pace

And recent developments augur well for perhaps even greater Asia-Pacific region infrastructure spending.  They include the recent announcement by China to spend 100 Billion USD on Asian infrastructure via the newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).  Japan, too, has recently announced its’ own plans to spend 110 Billion USD on Asian Infrastructure. “The Islamic Development Bank (IDB)”, as Asia News Network reported earlier this month, “is exploring a potential link-up with the planned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that could spur the use of sukuk (Islamic bonds) to fund some of Asia’s infrastructure needs.”  And just this weekend, “Japan and China agreed Saturday that the two countries will work together where they can to facilitate infrastructure development in Asia”, as the Bangkok Post reported.

It seems likely that estimates  made by McKinsey & Company (@McKinseyin 2011 that Southeast Asia Infrastructure development would be worth $8 trillion (USD) during the course of this decade – are likely to be outpaced by recent developments.

What’s Next? What’s needed?

Luke Sayers questions posed on Twitter are intriguing ones.  One can guess with some confidence that with the recent announcements from China and Japan, the rush to fund Asia’s massive infrastructure needs will continue to grow.  Regarding — “what’s needed?” For professional services firms, including law firms, accounting firms and investment banks, among others:  They can ably participate in the process by seeking to serve as a leading conduit of information about what Asia-Pacific regional infrastructure tendering opportunities are available, how to secure them, what’s needed to establish or expand operations around these projects, human resources and risk amelioration services related to these activities, tax, audit, market research, investment banking, corporate finance and a myriad of other services that any infrastructure development-focused firms seeking to be a part of the process will need in order to participate.

Internet engagement a key to growth for professional services firms

While Asia’s infrastructure development is increasing rapidly, so is its’ adoption of the internet.  Indeed, 61% of the world’s new internet users come from the Asia-Pacific region.  Hence the opportunity to connect professional services providers capable of facilitating Asia’s infrastructure development.  One key means by which this can be done is by adopting sophisticated social media use – the centerpiece of which would be publishing online – in order to more efficiently and effectively become a leading source of information to key audiences on Asia’s infrastructure opportunity.

As studies reflect, professional services business that use sophisticated content — including blogs — as a means to engage discerning audiences are much more likely to be engaged by clients versus those professional services firms that do not.  Social Media Influence has underscored this rapid acceleration of new business generated by engagement on social media, citing a “study by Austin-based PulsePoint Group and the Economist Intelligence Unit, which indicates companies that…embrace social media are seeing ‘four times greater business impact’ than their less socially engaged peers.”

With this in mind, it seems a logical next step for the region’s professional services firms to adopt sophisticated publishing and internet engagement in order to attract a larger client base around Asia’s growing infrastructure opportunity.

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal. An independent writer & editor, he's the author of: A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets (Ark Group 2014).

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