This region is the second most interested in developing new markets (at 22 per cent to Africa’s 30 per cent), although, as in other regions, interest in increasing workforce or skills is low (six per cent).
Russia’s appeal as an investment opportunity is static, remaining at the same level as in 2010. Negative sentiment in the region is being driven by reduced activity in key markets.
Western Europe has become marginally more attractive to investors (27 per cent, compared with 26 per cent in 2010), overtaking India (12 per cent in this survey, compared with 31 per cent interest in 2010). Western Europe is seen as a priority for shipping investment (at 25 per cent lagging just behind North America’s 26 per cent) and comes out top for rail investment (39 per cent up from 34 per cent in 2010), probably reflecting the high response from Europe rail respondents.
Investment interest in Russia is static. While a very low response (two per cent) from Asia Pacific respondents brings down its overall popularity, it has managed to retain its 2010 level of 10 per cent with interest from other regions.
Eastern Europe appears to be of interest only to the rest of Europe (seven per cent) or the Middle East (six per cent).
As in other regions, pricing and liquidity/ availability of money are the two greatest concerns, along with increased security/ guarantee requirements.
Europe respondents are most in favour of the need for a change in the view of asset values and show support for specialist transport funding institutions (14 per cent).
The next five years
In both Europe and North America (each at 27 per cent) respondents expect larger participants to become more dominant over the next five years, with very few predicting a withdrawal of any of the established participants.
Twenty-nine per cent of our Europe respondents polled believe that highspeed/ high-capacity assets will unleash new opportunities and that these represent a natural and beneficial development. However, as in other regions, few (eight per cent) believe that the operators of these assets will dominate the routes where they operate. A significant number of those surveyed (18 per cent) believe that these assets simply create overcapacity.
Supply and demand imbalances, generally, are considered a major challenge, with 22 per cent of respondents putting this at the top of their list.
Respondents from this region expect fares/freight to stay the same (a view that has increased to a solid 28 per cent from 11 per cent in 2010) and 55 per cent of respondents are predicting a rise in routes/services offered. Similarly, only two per cent expect passenger numbers and freight volume to fall.
As with other regions, fuel price/economy is a major concern for Europe respondents, with regulatory and environmental controls coming in second place.