In the 21st century, economies around the globe are in a profound change. Globalisation of markets, computerisation of industries, scarce government funds, privatisation, new methods of financing are but a few trends that European international contractors, too, have learned to address in their international business. Cross-border mergers, project development and concessions, diversification, concentration on construction-related services and an increasing share of subcontracting are but some of the consequences.
In addition, the world has witnessed over the past two decades a massive increase in private participation in infrastructure, driven mainly by foreign direct investment, not least from European international contractors. The current global financial and economic crisis going along with a massive collapse of private capital has revealed the importance of real physical assets, such as infrastructures, but also the need to secure that corresponding investments warrant Value for Money and are sustainable over the project’s life-cycle.
In line with its mandate to represent the international interests if the European construction industry, EIC, as a professional trade association, is particularly active in the following areas:
- EIC has built up a strong reputation as commentator of the FIDIC standard forms of contract and is a “friendly reviewer” to each new or updated FIDIC document;
- EIC is recognised by the European Commission and the World Bank as an advocate for Quality Assurance and Innovate Forms of Procurement for international works;
- EIC promotes vis-à-vis the European Commission the "offensive" interests in connection with the multilateral trade negotiations;
- EIC contributes with its brochures on Public-Private Partnerships to Capacity-Building in this area and liaises with the IFC and the EIB to promote the PPP globally;
- Through BIAC, EIC scrutinises the OECD work in the fields of Development Policy and Export Credits and represents the private sector voice in the OECD's stakeholder dialogue with trade unions, civil society and NGOs;
- EIC produces annual statistics on the international construction activities of its member companies;
- EIC organises two Workshops per year in which recent trends in the international construction business are highlighted.