Outlook 2017: Simon Moon, regional CEO of Atkins
We expect that the sustained lower oil price and continuing reviews of government spending priorities will result in ongoing uncertainty across regional markets.
At Atkins our business success is firmly built on our ability to be agile and responsive. We expect 2017 to be similar to 2016. 2018 onwards should be back to a reasonable level of growth in the infrastructure and property sectors especially with the growing population.
Liquidity challenges across all markets mean that, like many, managing cash will be our major focus and challenge. In addition, there will continue to be both broader challenges and opportunities as the GCC governments balance managing their budgets whilst delivering on their ambitious long-term goals and national visions.
I expect to see increased opportunities arising from alternative financing models in infrastructure, with a focus on PPP, BOTs, BOOT, IWPP. There is a strong demand for infrastructure developments especially in Saudi Arabia, however until the establishment of the PMOs in the government entities, it will likely remain quiet.
The region offers good opportunities linked to the drive for economic diversification and the need to invest in social infrastructure; transport infrastructure; retail, hospitality and defence. Our strategy is aimed at carefully selecting critical, complex projects and programmes with established key clients who need a long-term partner.
A key area to look out for is technology / digital. I truly believe that rapid and disruptive advances in technology in our market represent the most exciting opportunity facing us today.
Technology is revolutionising what we do and the way we do it. We are investing in technology innovation to offer clients more efficient and economic solutions using digital engineering and digital asset management.
Another really exciting trend which could offer some fantastic solutions for the region is intelligent mobility which harnesses emerging technologies to improve the movement of people, goods and services. Again, we are investing in this area across a number of related activities covering connected/autonomous/electric vehicles and platforms to link many modes of transport to provide mobility as a service.