Additional information on global infrastructure quality
Well functioning infrastructure is a cornerstone of a modern society. As well as serving an important role in facilitating business transitions, infrastructure increases a country’s efficiency and improves the standard of living of its citizens. As such there is a positive correlation between the gross domestic product of countries and their infrastructure quality with the two sharing a cyclical relationship. Economic growth allows for additional infrastructure investment while infrastructure is a necessary component in improving economic conditions.
Infrastructure comes in various forms depending on what is required by the society in question. Transport, energy, communications, water, waste and defense are all examples of sectors requiring significant infrastructure in order to operate effectively and efficiently. Transport infrastructure is typically the most discussed form of infrastructure and a primary focus of resources, in part because it has a direct effect on the lives of citizens that is both tangible and visible. Moreover, countries well equipped with roads, rail and port facilities are better positioned to gain from trade domestically and internationally. Singapore and Hong Kong are both examples of countries who have taken a competitive advantage from their geographic location in terms of trade facilitation. Therefore is it no surprise that both are in the top five largest ports worldwide by cargo turnover while also taking the top two spots in global infrastructure quality.
Obviously, as the needs of societies change so do their infrastructure needs. The importance of transport and energy infrastructure is reflected in the investment strategy of the United Kingdom with future investment being heavily geared towards these two sectors. However, an entirely new area of infrastructure is becoming a requirement as societies continue to increase their use of internet and cloud based technologies.
Moreover, infrastructure also requires upkeep and improvement as time goes on. In recent years the issue of infrastructure decay has been raised in the United States. Criticism has been directed at the short-sightedness of governments in delaying necessary infrastructure refurbishments. Critics are concerned with the stagnation or decline in spending across a number of infrastructure based sectors, including construction, at a time when a number of projects are due for renewal.