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    Belgian infrastructure currently on top form

    Belgium ranks 10th amongst rich countries for the level of infrastructure per capita, reveals research by Arcadis, an international company specialising in consulting and design, on Monday. This may change in the next few years because of the dearth of local investment and continued growth in emerging countries.

    In absolute terms, Belgium comes in 24th amongst rich countries for total built environment (buildings and infrastructure).

    On a per capita basis, however, it ranks 10th in the world (out of 32 countries representing 87% of global GDP), and third in Europe, right below Italy and the Netherlands but ahead of Germany and France.

    The rankings are expected to change very soon. Arcadis reckons Belgium will fall in the rankings. In the next 10 years it will likely fall behind UAE and the Philippines. “Emerging economies are getting ever closer as they are investing more in the construction of both buildings and infrastructure,” highlights Arcadis.

    The company reckons the value of the built environment is closely linked to wealth. “No economy can grow without a well-maintained network of roads, a reliable energy supply and a quality construction sector,” according to Arcadis Belgium CEO, Luc Hellemans. The company is thus pleading for the development of “hand-in-hand” partnerships between the public and the private sectors in order to “launch ambitious and complex projects.” This type of partnership sees private investors lend money to public authorities who need it in exchange for long-term revenue and risk reduction. Arcadis says this would stop the West turning into “a world museum.”

    The report reveals that the total value of the world’s built environment is currently 218 billion dollars (192.35 billion euros) and should rise to 302 billion dollars by 2025. Belgium’s buildings and infrastructure are estimated at 1.4 billion dollars, 0.64% of the global figure.

    Per capita wealth is highest in Qatar, with a figure of 198,124 dollars compared to a world average of 31,000 dollars. Per capita wealth in Belgium has been calculated at 125,436 dollars.

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)