off centered infrastructure investment

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Off centered infrastructure investment

Anger at Italy bridge operator as hunt for survivors goes on. Reuters, 15 Aug Conte, G. Facebook post 17 Aug. The White House. Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. Sawad, Y. Public-private partnerships boost for Asia.

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Program Advisory Committee. Our alumni. Profile: John Grill. Industry speakers. Learning facilitators. News and insights Latest news. News archive. Media mentions. Customer stewardship in infrastructure can play a key role to navigate the future for investors, operators, regulators and policymakers. Governments face important choices A traditional challenge for governments is the contest between fiscal management and infrastructure investment.

With the right governance and regulatory frameworks it is possible for governments to meet infrastructure investment needs through a combination of public investment and private capital. Put simply, customer stewardship is the collective management pillars and practices that focus on delivering quality long-term customer outcomes.

Read our research Better Infrastructure Initiative. Garry Bowditch asserts infrastructure has an oversized role to play in winning back community trust. It sets the frame of mind of the nation as infrastructure shapes many life defining decisions like where we live, what work we do and how we connect. The missing link in infrastructure. Our fifth Policy Outlook Paper reinforces the need for enduring answers to our economic problems are more likely to be found in the fertile soil of building relationships, reinforcing growth through reciprocity and sustained with a commitment to participation first.

Customer Stewardship Blueprint. This blueprint is devised to help organisations achieve and consistently track towards customer stewardship in infrastructure. Garry Bowditch. Shifting Australia's Infrastructure Mindset to the long game. Leadership for good starts here. Media News Find an expert Media contacts. About us Our rankings Faculties and schools Centres and institutes Campus locations. Member of. Disclaimer Privacy Accessibility Website feedback.

Government agencies will need to give priority to the provision and maintenance of the physical infrastructure on which the poor in particular depend if poverty reduction and employment creation remain national development goals. Indonesia embarked on a process of decentralization in and responsibilities for local infrastructure development have been transferred to local authorities. Necessary capacities at these levels have often not yet been sufficiently developed and this is affecting the state of the infrastructure in the country.

Priority attention is given to developing the basic systems needed for effective and accountable administrative and financial management, and the development of models for participatory planning and oversight. Local management models are introduced and technical skills are strengthened in different sectors. Capacity building however remains a top priority.

Bappenas has put 'labour-intensive' as a mainstreaming guide in their plan with the objective to enhance the labour content of large infrastructure projects, without compromising quality. Strengthening the technical capacity at the local level remains crucial in this effort. There is a need for detailed guidance and operating procedures on how to identify design and implement large-scale projects with more labour inputs.

Indonesia of course has had various employment creation schemes through infrastructure programmes P4K, Padat Karya, etc. The results of these programmes however have been mixed and concerns have been raised primarily about the quality and sustainability of the assets created and the productivity of the works. Support at the central level to promote rural infrastructure development as a strategy for poverty reduction and employment creation and work in East Nusa Tenggara NTT Province to develop manuals and training modules for sustainable rural infrastructure development in a decentralized context.

The work focussed on the complete cycle of infrastructure development from planning, contracting, technology through to maintenance. To scale up the work with the universities, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between CMEA, the ILO and 8 universities to expand activities across the country and include more districts in capacity building activities.

Universities developed the capacity to run Infrastruktur Kliniks, which were local workshops on infrastructure development for poverty reduction, and delivered technical assistance on sustainable rural infrastructure development to local governments. Work with the University Network had a good potential producing a series of guidebooks on how local resource-based technology can be applied in Indonesia.

An ILO study carried out after the financial crisis of concluded that the country could create 1. It identified the need for a three-year programme of technical support and training to assist the Government in achieving this outcome.

The proposed programme rests on three pillars:. Employment creation for the poor, particularly in rural areas — a maximum of three months in a year, at an average monthly wage of Rp ,, targeting 15 million poor households;. Productive asset formation in the local economy in various sectors and typical investments would be in the building, repair and maintenance of roads, irrigation systems, water supplies, flood control systems and public buildings and watershed development and reforestation works which in turn could generate more employment as spin-off;.

ILO worked in a number of Kabupaten across the country to develop guidelines and procedures for local level infrastructure planning, small-scale contracting and local maintenance systems. This resulted in a set of technical guidelines and manuals which were introduced during the so-called Infrastruktur Kliniks. The different elements together produced the foundation for the local resource-based approach. The ongoing project strengthens the capacity of local governments in Aceh and Nias in their management of infrastructure investments in support of employment creation and economic growth.

Specific project goals are to:. The project has completed the rehabilitation of 97 km and maintenance of The quality of the local resource-based roads is perceived to be superior to the quality of other roads. Additional positive features included the increased capacity of local government staff and small contractors, creation of more employment, increased involvement of women in road works, increased community participation and greater transparency in the procurement process.

A key area for employment creation is the maintenance of infrastructure. A study carried out by ILO in recommends that there needs to be an improvement in the management capacity for planning and an increase in the actual expenditures to maintain the infrastructure and to escape from the pattern of damage followed by rehabilitation or reconstruction. Maintenance is employment intensive and investments in maintenance preserve the assets created, sustain the benefits generated by these assets, and provide long-term employment.

Indonesia has a rural road network of about , kilometers. Routine maintenance on this network could create around , jobs and keep the network in good condition delaying more expensive rehabilitation works and keeping transport costs low. Indonesia currently spends about 0. Local infrastructure is relatively well developed but more investments are needed to provide access to economic and social opportunities for all and maintain and preserve the infrastructure. The local resource-based approach developed by ILO in collaboration with partners at the central and local level has demonstrated to be a viable approach for infrastructure development.

Local resource-based methods could be used on a larger scale for future investments in infrastructure to create assets, reduce poverty and create jobs. The Government also has the means to provide incentives for Kabupaten governments to also improve the outcomes of their discretionary spending on infrastructure in terms of reducing poverty and creating jobs.

The ILO activities on Sumatra and elsewhere have demonstrated that the local resource-based approaches are effective. A much wider and lasting impact can be realized through the institutionalization of these approaches so that many more can benefit from such an initiative. The main challenge now is to upscale the work and generate a national impact. This requires that these approaches are institutionalized at the most appropriate level through reforms and modifications to existing policies and procedures.

Specific inputs are required for technical and managerial training programmes of key decision makers, consultants and contractors. The twinning of upstream improvements to policies, specification, contract procurement systems and other relevant processes with demonstration sites in the field could probably provide a mechanism for introducing the approaches on a wider scale. Central government funding of infrastructure has been transformed by regional autonomy.

Several types of infrastructure continue to be provided and funded by the center through the budgets of the ministries. In addition, there are the foreign loans. All these sources could be targeted to increase the labour-intensity of the investments in infrastructure development with limited additional costs to society.

Seeking specific donor funding for demonstrating successful interventions should also be considered. There may be a need to pilot promising initiatives that may not deliver macro results in the short run but that could be well publicized and offer prospects for a significant employment contribution.

The one million jobs proposal prepared by ILO after the financial crisis identifies some interventions in this context. Considerable efforts have been made to improve the service delivery standards and norms and the development of appropriate guidelines to assist local governments to plan, design and implement local infrastructure works.

The introduction of local resource-based works however requires additional technical know-how. ILO recently carried out a training needs assessment TNA which outlines the capacity building strategy necessary to operationalize the local resource-based approach in Aceh and Nias by taking into account the specific conditions and working environment. Essential strategy elements as well as essential and critical requirements are identified and a recommended training programme focuses on practical training on-the-job and a problem oriented approach and consists of training inputs that are based on a normal contract implementation process and include i pre-tender training, ii mobilisation training, iii on-the-job training for contract works.

Although project specific, the results of the TNA are indicative for training needs in other areas of Indonesia. The main purpose of the work was to identify possible areas for collaboration between local authorities and the ILO for improving the delivery of rural infrastructure through local-resource based approaches including the use of employment-intensive works technology, private sector involvement and rural access planning.

The work provided an analysis of the current situation in terms of access to basic services and markets in the rural areas in the three provinces and on this basis made projections on rural transport infrastructure development demands, assessed implementation capacity, evaluated some key challenges facing the sector and identified entry points for a possible ILO technical cooperation programme.

A lack of capacity at the local level for infrastructure development was identified as a main constraint in all three provinces. It is important to note that elements of the LRB approach are already being practiced in infrastructure and planning programmes and it would not be appropriate to establish parallel systems but rather build on and improve existing systems.

There is a good basis on which to build through the ILO linking up with either an existing or planned major programme whereby the ILO "added value" involves essentially technical assistance on the back of existing or committed capital investment streams for infrastructure works. The challenge will be to achieve the realization of the LRB approach without being overcome by the major need to address basic technical managerial and planning needs which are likely to be technology neutral or technology insensitive.

This is because of the daunting overall need for basic skills improvement especially at district and village level where general capacity building support may well be more welcome than specialist technical support for LRB approaches. Selection of good schemes that can have a positive impact on the local economy agriculture, trade, small industries etc. Effective targeting of specific groups such as the unemployed, underemployed, rural poor, urban poor, women, youth etc.


In Policy Outlook Paper No. In fact, the longer the contract period, the greater chance the benefits of contractual certainty at project commissioning may be offset in future decades. This is because the contract may prevent or give little incentive for the concession holder to respond to emerging threats and opportunities.

The result can be infrastructure that is inflexible and static in its environment and for customers. From our discussions with governments and project managers it is clear there is an untold story or the PPPs that are working. The key ingredient for successful PPPs, a culture of collaboration, cannot be measured with a tick the box approach. In the current environment where it is difficult for policymakers to confidently set key performance indicators KPI for a PPP for five years let alone 30, Customer Stewardship Blueprint may offer a circuit breaker to establish a new collaborative culture that allows projects to adapt over time to the benefit of all.

In doing so, they can help jurisdictions to get back on course when experiencing unsatisfactory outcomes with PPPs. An inquiry by the United Kingdom House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which examined the ramifications of the collapse of facilities management and construction firm Carillion, heard evidence that successive governments have sought to transfer risk inappropriately with procurement teams aggressively seeking to maximise risk transfer, in some cases without knowing key data about the services they were asking companies to bid for.

Customer stewardship provides a pathway for greater effectiveness in translating dollars invested into positive long-term economic and social impacts. It is the necessary scaffolding that every infrastructure entity should adopt as it experiments, designs and implements customer-led initiatives in the infrastructure sector.

We should no longer tolerate an absence of long- term customer stewardship of infrastructure, and the opportunity to begin that transformation is now possible. Infrastructure forms a potent asset and network that has a lot to do with shaping our future destinies. It is for this reason that customer stewardship is not only important, our future may rely on it.

Local, national and global infrastructure has the potential to shape a much better, safer and inclusive world. How we can together activate such a vision, of earning trust and the framework for applying customer stewardship, is discussed in the next chapter. There is neither regulation nor government intervention that can assure customer-led infrastructure takes root.

It relies on responsible owners that have a disciplined and transparent approach to managing their balance sheet, and a strong focus on customer interaction to inform new investments. Hoyer, W. Global Public Investor Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum. Preqin Ltd. Jones, J. Brookfield Infrastructure buys into residential services with acquisition of Enercare.

The Globe and Mail, 1 Aug Carr, T. De Langen, P. Brussels: European Sea Ports Organisation. European Commission. After Carillion: Public sector outsourcing and contracting. UK House of Commons. Polleschi, I. Anger at Italy bridge operator as hunt for survivors goes on. Reuters, 15 Aug Conte, G. Facebook post 17 Aug. The White House. Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. Sawad, Y. Public-private partnerships boost for Asia.

The Economist. Issue 28 Jul , p. University home. Current students. Staff intranet. Type to search. All content. John Grill Centre for Project Leadership. Education Education What program suits you? Executive Leadership in Major Projects. Governance programs. A wiser approach to infrastructure would drastically increase the cost of urban street parking, potentially pricing it out of use, or eliminating it all together. Street parking in urban areas can cost more than the average vehicle occupying the space.

The full cost of on-street parking spots is higher in denser urban areas, where increased traffic congestion results from use of the spot. Consider the common experience of driving through a four-lane road in which two lanes on each side are set aside for street parking. Lane capacity could be doubled if that parking was eliminated. Traffic congestion could be reduced even further given that the addition of a second lane provides some relief for left turns or other actions that reduce traffic flow.

Additional capacity may induce more demand, which would reduce congestion benefits that should be incorporated into any estimates. Urban planners appreciate the value of the additional capacity as they often restrict parking during rush hour to promote usage. However, urban congestion continues to increase while the traditional rush hour times stay constant.

In many urban areas, congestion levels only seen during rush hour a generation ago are the norm today. The hours of congestion in the Portland area increased Time travel reliability decreased significantly due to rush hour traffic lasting for six hours or more on key roads in Portland. It is no longer only a weekday peak hour problem.

Uses of this space include boarding public transit, private ride sharing, dedicated bike lanes, commercial vehicle loading zones, and more. Regardless of the ultimate best use, the current system of radically underpricing this important resource should be ended.

A wiser approach to the use of parking spaces would incorporate the insights from the Coase Theorem, a Nobel prize winning tenant of land-use economics, put forward by University of Chicago professor Ronald Coase in Consider the Coasean thought experiment on what those costs are, calculating one metric in one circumstance: the additional time lost due to parking on a busy street once a rush hour time restriction is lifted imagine pm.

That parked car requires an entire lane to merge. If this results in 1, passengers each losing 20 seconds that totals to just over 5 hours and a half hours of lost time. To quantify that, consider the average wage of users of that road. The average hourly wage for non-supervisory workers in the U. Traffic will also likely include some supervisory workers and other higher paid individuals. If the person parking was forced to pay for the full cost of the externality caused by their decision, would they?

The vehicles following the decelerating vehicle also decelerate to maintain a safe headway distance from the preceding vehicle. Similar disturbances occur when a parked vehicle leaves the curb and enters the traffic flow. Further proof of the value of free street parking comes from the experience of MonkeyParking, an app created to allow people to sell their street parking to others.

Created in , the app started to go viral in San Francisco, a city know for parking difficulties. The quick legal action by city officials highlights another angle to street based parking: city revenue. Parking meters are often deployed, but can charge rates far below comparable private market parking. One result is that it becomes rational for people to spend time hunting for street parking, particularly those who are likely to park for longer periods of time. Some estimates are as high as one-third of traffic generated in downtown urban areas is from drivers looking for parking spaces Down the road, self driving cars could eliminate much of the need for on-street parking.

One can easily imagine being dropped off at your desired location, sending your car to a holding lot and wait to retrieve you. In the absence of a low cost waiting zone, it would be unfortunate if self driving cars wandered around the block for hours waiting to pick passengers back up. Cities and local governments should take the following actions to more wisely use existing infrastructure:. Cities may be reluctant to eliminate parking spaces with meters for fear of revenue loss.

This can be real money. However, the recommendations if done collectively could be done in a revenue neutral manner for the municipality through the combination of eliminating some spots, while increasing costs in other. Residents and drivers will benefit from reduced congestion, whether it is captured on municipal budgets or not.

Department of Transportation could create a pilot study, offering a city federal funds to compensate for reduced parking revenue, while also measuring changes in traffic congestion and improvements in reduced vehicle travel time, wasted gas, and reduced pollution. Quantifying those savings, potentially in a pay for success program—in which the DoT pays localities that reduce congestion through eliminating unwise street parking—is a promising path to take.

Similar to the new pay for success program launched by the U. The provision of infrastructure is bifurcated by type or mode. Bifurcation exists at all levels of government, often the result of the origins and historical norms prevalent when that infrastructure was first adopted. The federal government created a Department of Transportation in the s in part to centralize the bifurcated modal programs that were operating throughout the government.

The federal process of integration remains incomplete. There is no Department of Infrastructure; water infrastructure programs exist in the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies. Modal bifurcation without coordination inevitably leads to inefficiency. An example is when road repairs are made according to a highway schedule, without regard to the scheduled work of the water agency.

The inefficiency of digging twice could have been eliminated had the schedule of work been coordinated. In an ideal world, the promise of efficiency alone would be enough to incentivize bifurcated local officials to better coordinate. However, the costs involved with synchronizing schedules, deferring to other agencies, and difficulty in negotiating how to split the savings from combined efforts may be substantial.

Additional benefits of avoiding negative externalities from traffic congestion generated by duplicative work will not be directly accounted for by the agencies making these decisions. Wiser infrastructure investment can reduce costs, increase efficiency, better utilize scarce resources, and increase public trust. Opportunities to make wiser choices abound at the federal, state, and local level.

Policy makers at each level have options ranging from enhancing coordination to significantly altering existing resources such as street parking. Federal officials can mandate new approaches, eliminate mistaken ones, or provide small incentives for jurisdictions to experiment. Each of these roads would lead to wiser choices. Report Produced by Center on Regulation and Markets. Workforce Development Renewing the water workforce: Improving water infrastructure and creating a pipeline to opportunity Joseph W.

Kane and Adie Tomer. Wallach and Nick Zaiac. Footnotes Mattei, Norma Jean. Infrastructure Report Card American Society of Civil Engineers. October Danby, Nick. Accessed July 20, Cavaretta, Amy. Howell, William G. Siggerud, Katherine. United States General Accounting Office. May 1, Accessed June 28, February 14, March 09, May 05, Altman, Roger C. Brookings Institution, United States. Department of Agriculture.

Rural Utilities Service. Sepp, Pete. February 06, Accessed July 03, Anderson, Richard F. Washington D. Cohen, Bonner R. Cowen, Tyler. August 14, Portland Region Traffic Performance Report. Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon. Shepard, Meghan. Coase, R. Bureau of Labor Statistics. June 12, Accessed June 29, Shoup, Donald. Routledge, McMillan, Robert.

June 03, Maddaus, Gene. April 02, June 26, Doyle, Patrick. February 07,

Infrastructure owners and operators face uncertainty, risk and change, but at the same time the opportunity for growth and delivering value to customers and the community has never been greater.

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Echo entertainment dividend reinvestment programs The White House. Technology transformations. Solving this problem could reduce costs for many types of infrastructure and ensure a more stable set of jobs and production of infrastructure assets. Sawad, Y. The reforms propose allowing the government to take assets no longer needed by any federal agency directly to market. About us Our rankings Faculties and schools Centres and institutes Campus locations.
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Amid a confusing, volatile market, we believe infrastructure investing has the potential to be an attractive option for long-horizon investors and should be considered as a strategic portfolio allocation throughout the market cycle. As the decade-long bull market —already the longest on record—continues to mature, right now might be a particularly good time to consider the portfolio stabilizing prospects of infrastructure investing.

Bonds comprise Bloomberg Barclays U. Rate-increase cycles were determined based on the U. Periods were selected based on when rate increases were reaonably sustained and when the first hike marked the beginning of a meaningful policy shift. Using available data back to , we identified eight such periods.

The MSCI World Index tracks the performance of publicly traded large- and mid-cap stocks of developed-market companies. The Bloomberg Barclays U. Aggregate Bond Index tracks the performance of U. The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index tracks the performance of global investment-grade debt in fixed-rate treasury, government-related, corporate, and securitized bond markets.

It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Master limited partnerships and other energy companies are susceptible to changes in energy and commodity prices. Natural resource investments are subject to political and regulatory developments and the uncertainty of exploration. The stock prices of midsize and small companies can change more frequently and dramatically than those of large companies.

Fixed-income investments are subject to interest-rate and credit risk; their value will normally decline as interest rates rise or if an issuer is unable or unwilling to make principal or interest payments. Investments concentrated in one sector may fluctuate more widely than investments diversified across sectors. Investments in higher-yielding, lower-rated securities include a higher risk of default. Foreign investing, especially in emerging markets, has additional risks, such as currency and market volatility and political and social instability.

Investments in the Greater China region may be subject to less developed trading markets, acute political risks, and restrictions on monetary repatriation or other adverse government actions. The use of hedging and derivatives could produce disproportionate gains or losses and may increase costs. Liquidity—the extent to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively affecting its market value, if at all—may be impaired by reduced trading volume, heightened volatility, rising interest rates, and other market conditions.

REITs may decline in value, just like direct ownership of real estate. Groupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, for example, operates nine airports in southeastern Mexico, six in Colombia, and one in Puerto Rico. These companies hold concessions with the government to operate these airports, paying a fee in exchange for the right to earn the revenue generated by these facilities.

Railways: The U. Ports: There are two types of ports: operational and landlord. State or local government port authorities run operational ports, owning the port infrastructure as well as overseeing all operations. Major operational ports include those in Houston, Savannah, and Charleston. Meanwhile, government agencies such as a port authority own the land and basic infrastructure of landlord ports. However, they lease the property out to private companies that operate parts or all the port.

Electric and gas utilities: Investors have several options when it comes to investing in electric and natural gas distribution infrastructure, since there are dozens of publicly traded companies that own these crucial assets.

Some companies focus on owning and operating electric-generating facilities such as hydroelectric dams or wind farms. Others not only own those assets, but also the transmission infrastructure needed to get the power from plants to homes and businesses. Meanwhile, some utilities focus on owning natural gas distribution systems, while others operate across the entire spectrum. Water and wastewater utilities: Several publicly traded utilities own and operate water and wastewater infrastructure, such as pipelines, sewage treatment facilities, and desalinization plants.

Oil and gas midstream infrastructure: The U. In addition to that, the energy industry requires several other mission-critical midstream infrastructure assets to transport, process, and store oil, natural gas, and refined petroleum products. Data centers: Data centers are the backbone infrastructure of the internet as these centralized facilities house the servers and other systems needed to store, manage, and transmit data. While many technology companies own and operate their own data centers, several companies focus on owning these centralized hubs.

Telecommunications towers: Antennas are crucial infrastructure for the broadcast and wireless industries as they enable companies and people to transmit voice, data, and video. The company is also working hard to "take advantage of our unique position in the industry to lead the way into a 5G future," according to its CEO. For example, the company could build wireless network infrastructure inside of buildings and stadiums.

Three major factors drive the need for new infrastructure. First, governments have underinvested in their infrastructure over the years, causing existing assets to deteriorate and become obsolete. As a result, governments need to replace a significant amount of infrastructure so they can continue supporting the global economy.

The second factor driving the infrastructure industry forward is a growing global economy. For example, a growing economy uses more energy, driving the need for new oil pipelines, power-generating facilities, and other energy-related infrastructure. It also propels demand for more transportation infrastructure capacity such as bigger airports, wider roads, and additional port capacity. Finally, shifting demographic trends such as population growth, the expanding middle class , increased urbanization, and the aging of certain populations such as baby boomers in the U.

For example, an expanding middle class has more disposable income to spend on things like travel -- driving the need for additional transportation infrastructure -- and entertainment, which requires more communication infrastructure. Governments have finite budgets to spend on maintaining and expanding infrastructure. However, with the need for infrastructure rising, there's a widening gap between spending and the investment required to adequately meet the global economy's infrastructure needs.

According to one estimate in , the infrastructure funding gap in the U. Meanwhile, significant gaps remain in other developed nations like Canada, Australia, and across Europe. Because of that, governments are increasingly seeking private sector help to bridge this gap in two major ways. First, they're privatizing infrastructure assets by either selling them outright to investors or leasing them under operating concessions, which enables companies to earn income from operating infrastructure assets in exchange for paying the government a fee.

Those options bring in cash so that governments can fund other critical projects. Second, they're forging public-private partnerships PPPs to get private capital to invest in government-driven infrastructure projects. Countries like Brazil and Australia have been actively selling infrastructure to the private sector over the years to help fund new projects.

Brazil, for example, sold concessions in several toll roads to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, which will not only invest capital to maintain those roads, but expand them. Australia, meanwhile, has been privatizing assets to finance the construction of new ones.

It entered into a year lease with a company to operate a state-owned electric grid, using the proceeds to pay for improvements to the Sydney Metro. The U. Given the significant need for infrastructure spending around the world, governments will likely continue seeking ways to incorporate PPPs to bridge the infrastructure spending gap.

Government entities play a crucial role in the infrastructure industry. Not only do they invest heavily in the sector, they also oversee it. As such, they set or regulate the rates many infrastructure companies charge for using their assets. The FERC also reviews proposals to build new liquified natural gas terminals, interstate natural gas pipelines, and hydropower projects. This oversight limits competition, which allows infrastructure companies to earn a return on their investment in new projects.

However, it also prevents them from charging higher market-based fees. Governments can also prevent infrastructure projects from moving forward or delay them by undertaking additional reviews to ensure they're actually needed. Because of that influence, investors need to understand that governments can inhibit infrastructure growth projects as well as push them forward.

Because governments can't meet the global economy's infrastructure requirements on their own, they will need to increasingly rely on private investment. As a result, investors will likely see their opportunity set expand over the coming years as more companies focus on this opportunity. In the meantime, investors already have several compelling options worth considering.

Next, we'll drill down a bit deeper into one of these infrastructure behemoths, then take a closer look at another enticing option. Enbridge gets paid a fee as oil and gas flows through its various pipeline systems, which allows the company to generate steady cash flow that it uses to pay a lucrative dividend as well as expand its infrastructure footprint. While Enbridge is already the largest midstream infrastructure company in North America, it's not stopping there.

The company invests billions of dollars per year to grow its asset base. That growth should continue for many years to come, since the U. As those projects come online, they'll supply Enbridge with a growing stream of cash flow, giving it the fuel it needs to continue increasing its dividend at a healthy annual rate, as it has done since Because of its massive scale, Enbridge offers investors the opportunity to benefit from the growth of the entire North American energy infrastructure segment, since it operates both oil and gas pipelines in the U.

That diversification makes it a low-risk way for investors to add some exposure to the fast-growing energy infrastructure segment in their portfolios. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners is one of the largest owners and operators of infrastructure assets in the world.

The company owned stakes in 32 infrastructure businesses at the end of , spread across North and South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific focusing on utilities, transportation, energy, and data infrastructure. The company's infrastructure assets are critical to support the movement of energy, data, water, goods, and people. Meanwhile, its rail network in Western Australia is the sole freight system to move commodities like iron ore from mines to global markets.

The company also operates a vital communications network in France, an important natural gas pipeline system in Brazil, and critical toll roads in Brazil, Chile, Peru, and India.