EC Harris index ranks UK 13th out of 40 countries surveyed, behind the US, Australia and Singapore

The UK is less attractive to infrastructure investors than a dozen of its global rivals, including Singapore, Australia and Chile, according to a new report by consultant EC Harris.

EC Harris’ Infrastructure Investment Index ranks the UK 13th out of 40 countries surveyed, just behind the United States in 12th and slightly ahead of Germany in 14th place.

The study assesses various issues, including the ease of doing business in each market, tax rates, GDP per capita, government policy, the quality of the existing infrastructure and the availability of debt finance.

EC Harris said political dithering, high levels of regulation and convoluted planning and approval processes made the UK a less attractive place to invest.

The top three countries to invest were Singapore (1st), Qatar (2nd) and Canada (3rd). The highest ranking European nations were Sweden (5th) and Norway (6th).

Matthew Cutts, head of lenders and investors at EC Harris, said: “Much has been made of the need to attract private finance to help address the UK’s infrastructure deficit, however there’s still a significant gap between the political intent and the economic reality.

“Unless concerted steps are taken to provide greater policy certainty, loosen regulation, and speed up the approval process, investors will continue to look at other markets with fewer barriers to enter and where they can see a much clearer exit strategy.”