Guernsey has fared well in an assessment of island economies and
infrastructure carried out by the island offices of KPMG.
The report, entitled Island Economies and their Infrastructure,
An Outlook 2010 and Beyond, shows how future investment in
infrastructure is critical to meeting growing expectations of
public services and to ensure the continued prosperity of
Ashley Paxton, Head of Advisory for KPMG in the Channel Islands,
said that there was clearly a significant competitive advantage for
those governments with a strategic approach to infrastructure
"As Guernsey faces up to a number of major infrastructure
projects, it is in an advantageous position – it has no
external debt and a targeted planning approach with its strategic
plan," he said.
The KPMG research, conducted with data and information support
from Island Analysis, covered 16 island jurisdictions, including
Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
The findings highlighted how many island jurisdictions are
struggling to finance their growing infrastructure requirements.
Very few had a structured approach to infrastructure planning.
But Guernsey was reflected positively, particularly over the
lack of national debt – some regions had ratios in excess
of 100 percent and are struggling to finance infrastructure
projects. The report gave the island credit for its targeted
approach to government infrastructure policy and strategy. Guernsey
was one of just a few jurisdictions with a defined process, through
the newly-adopted States Strategic Plan.
KPMG International has also commissioned independent research of
more than 300 executives and board members of major companies
worldwide, which highlighted the view that the private sector
believed that significant investment in infrastructure was needed
to support future economic growth, and, more specifically, the
long-term growth of their organisations.
90 percent of those surveyed said that the quality and
availability of infrastructure would directly affect where they
locate and expand to. 'Given this statistic it is evident there
is scope for Guernsey to use its infrastructure investment plans
for real competitive advantage,' added Mr Paxton.
The report also revealed that more than three-quarters of
respondents feared that their jurisdictions would not support their
long-term growth with sufficient infrastructure investment. 80
percent believed that governments should consider private-public
KPMG's islands' research also uncovered significant
problems across all island jurisdictions in delivering projects on
time or on budget, highlighting a need for improvements in project
management, planning and controls.
There is particular pressure on islands to invest in education,
healthcare, housing and transport. The majority of island
governments surveyed felt that their infrastructure was in average
shape – just 11 percent believed it was good and 22
percent said it was poor.
Mr Paxton added: "For many island jurisdictions it is clear
that the gap is widening between the expectations of the
islanders' infrastructure requirements and the ability of
island governments to continue to deliver that infrastructure.
"There is no simple solution to this challenge to close the
'expectation gap'. What is required of island governments
is a strong consistent focus on employing all possible best
practice solutions, coupled with learning from the experiences of
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