Reasons Why Managed Travel is a Must for Construction

    During the trip that we will make through
    the following paragraphs we will visit the destinations chosen by construction
    companies for
    managed travel, the origin and the reasons that drove their
    internationalization, the difficulties and the results obtained. These
    companies manage projects in a comprehensive way -including design, execution,
    financing, operation and maintenance-, in over 80 countries, allowing them to
    successfully solve the challenges posed by extra-budgetary infrastructure
    financing systems. Challenges from the
    right pick of car hire to strategies and luggage requirements.

    Additionally, they have demonstrated ease
    in managing and adapting to local production factors, establishing alliances
    and agreements with partners from different countries, and dragging a wide base
    of competitive subcontractors and suppliers.

    Finally, these are highly diversified
    groups towards other sectors such as environmental services, comprehensive
    building management, the airport sector, the integral water cycle or renewable
    energy, reaching high figures in their portfolio of businesses that in many
    cases exceed construction activity. This feature allows them to more
    efficiently manage the entire life cycle of the infrastructure, generating the
    necessary confidence in financial investors and public authorities to raise
    funds from capital markets and finance projects.

    As a result of technical development,
    internationalization, diversification and business concentration, the
    associated companies have established themselves as world leaders in
    infrastructure, both in the field of construction of all types of projects and
    in the management of transport infrastructure.

    In general terms, we can indicate that the
    main motivations of companies to boost their construction activity in the
    international arena are the maintenance of turnover and productive capacity,
    participation in major projects in which they contribute their extensive
    experience and knowledge or the geographical diversification of their activity
    to minimize risks.

    On the other hand, the foreign presence has
    evolved according to the different approaches to the different countries,
    responding to the strategies of the companies themselves or according to the
    requirements set by local markets. In this sense, the entrances to the
    countries where they operate today have been able to start in very different
    ways, which could be through a specific tender, a subcontracting contract, a
    joint venture agreement for a specific project, the creation of a branch or a
    subsidiary, the formation of an international consortium, or the acquisition or
    merger with a local company. Recently we are witnessing movements within the
    latter form of exit, which intensify the creation of large international groups
    made up of companies of multiple nationalities and with very diverse activities
    not necessarily related to construction.

    Likewise, the infrastructure companies to
    which we have been referring have acquired significant experience in toll motorway
    concessions and business travel, and subsequently expanded their concession
    activity to other types of infrastructure and services. As is well known,
    knowledge in infrastructure management also moved abroad. The geographical
    distribution of international activity has evolved with the experience of
    companies, with the development of countries and with the interests of both. In
    general terms, we can point out as main current destinations to countries that
    offer certainty, that guarantee physical security of displaced persons and
    legal certainty for companies, which have medium and long-term development
    plans, and offer credit capacity with a developed financial market. These
    requirements are even more demanding in the case of concession projects, since
    the very long term of them requires it. Therefore, without being a
    generalization, it is observed how the activity is greater in North America
    (30%), Europe (20%), South and Central America (13%), and a growing interest in
    Oceania. However, the first destinations of these companies were Latin American
    countries, North Africa
    and some European neighbors.

    Undoubtedly, we can question the
    advisability of continuing to speak of the internationalization of these
    companies or the sector, since, as we have seen, they have been
    internationalized for several decades, and even more so when the environment in
    which we operate is increasingly globalized. However, it is a process in
    evolution and constant revision for which there are still many destinations to

    We can end this enriching journey through
    internationalization with the feeling of having carried light luggage, on a
    simple path, of having found facilities at each stop and even of returning home
    without any scratches on the heels. However, the trip that we have counted for
    several paragraphs has no return ticket, it is a walk into the future in which
    our ‘house’ will get bigger and bigger and the distances will get shorter.

    Undoubtedly, companies will continue to
    encounter challenges, those that come with their own projects and those that
    will bring destinations with their different languages, laws, cultures, tax
    systems, currencies, local business fabric etc. New frontiers to explore in an
    increasingly competitive world will also have to be added, with relevant
    demographic changes, with new technologies at hand, setting Sustainable
    Development Goals, bridging the differences for project financing in those
    countries where there is more need of infrastructures and finding new formulas
    to continue in excellence.