Tackling emerging market’s skills gap | Infrastructure news

The launch a new UK infrastructure venture will tackle the skills gap that stops deals from being done in emerging markets.

The G7 summit in Brussels decided to help developing countries negotiate complex contracts such as public-private partnerships (PPPs) with the launch of a knowledge portal.

Whilst this is a step in the right direction, many of these countries do not have access to the skills needed to structure and negotiate viable PPP deals with international investors.  This leads to project delays, escalating costs and ultimately cancellations with the host countries earning a reputation for poor deliverability.

Bob Shekleton and Nigel Brindley, veterans of the UK’s privately financed infrastructure sector, are behind a new venture — Stratus Infrastructure.  Having delivered and managed PPPs for 25 years, they plan to realise the potential of PPPs to meet the burgeoning infrastructure demand in these markets.

Shekleton says, “There is no shortage of skills and funding in the UK; the pipeline is the constraint.  The reverse is true in developing markets.  We are really excited about joining forces to create the end to end investment expertise these markets need”.

Stratus is targeting markets with rapid GDP growth, an overhanging demand for new infrastructure and a readiness to embrace PPP as a solution.

“We see great opportunities in ASEAN, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.  Not only can we structure and close fundable deals but we know how to manage the regulatory, construction and operational risks that often put-off investors. By keeping costs to a minimum and adopting a ‘hands-on’ approach, our model is unique in providing a flexible, results focused, cost-effective solution,” says Brindley.

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