EIC Workshop in Rome - Infrastructure Programmes to Relaunch the Economy & Contractual Tools to Mitigate Supply Chain Disruptions

30 September 2022

EIC organised its Autumn 2022 Conference and Workshop on 29-30 September 2022 in collaboration with its Italian Member Federation, ANCE, in Rome. Around 100 participants from 15 countries, representing EIC member federations, member companies and business partners from construction-related industries as well as representatives from EU and international organisations took the opportunity to convene in Italy’s capital for EIC’s second face-to-face Workshop this year titled ‘Prospects for European international contractors: Will we see a real recovery?’.

EIC President Chauvin mentioned in his introductory speech that European international contractors were finding themselves in a paradoxical situation: Whilst global infrastructure demand was high and governments, e.g. in the U.S., in the Gulf region and in the EU, were promoting large infrastructure programmes, the war in the Ukraine had set the global economy on a course of slower growth and rising inflation, a situation not seen since the 1970s.

During the first session titled ‘Infrastructural Plans at the Heart of Strategies for Relaunching the Economy’, the OECD Director for Financial and Enterprises Affairs, Carmine Di Noia, observed that the infrastructure sector had weathered the crisis better than the broader market and that annual global clean energy investments would need to more than triple by 2030 to 4 trillion US$ to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Senior Advisor to the EU Commission’s Recovery Task Force, Alessandro Carano, briefed EIC about the state of play of the implementation of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility and the President of U.S. contractor Brad Cole Construction highlighted the challenges of doing business with the U.S. Department of Defence which was in charge of a significant part of NATO infrastructure spending. The subsequent panel consisted of Lara Muller, Head of Global Affairs of Boskalis, Francesco Falco, Global Chief Commercial Officer of Webuild, Gustávo Martínez, Commercial Director & Head of Digitalisation and Documentation of Ferrovial, as well as Massimo Seregni, Corporate Key Account Director of Mapei Group, and it analysed the impact of the current crisis on company strategies and business models. The session was moderated by Alessandro Speciale, Rome Bureau Chief of Bloomberg News.

During the second session, the Chief Operating Officer of MANTRAC Group, Nigel Lewis, Prof. Gustavo Piga from Rome Tor Vergata University and the Chairman of the FIDIC Contracts Committee, Vincent Leloup, shared their experience on ‘Contractual Tools to Mitigate Supply Chain Disruptions’. The subsequent panel consisting of the Chief Procurement Officer of the World Bank, Enzo de Laurentiis, Managing Partner of Grimaldi Studio Legale, Francesco Sciaudone, General Manager at PNC Norge, Mathias Fabich, and Vincent Leloup from FIDIC discussed the legal problems arising out of the current supply chain disruptions and the contractual tools to mitigate them, in particular contract price adjustments based on indexation. The session was moderated by German Grueniger, General Counsel of Implenia.

In his closing speech, EIC President Chauvin concluded that European international contractors had the task to deliver more sustainable construction projects at a time of economic and financial challenges. He called upon clients, financiers and other partners to add sustainability elements to the procurement of construction projects and to embark on a collaborative approach for project delivery.

The presentations held at the EIC Rome Workshop can be downloaded here by clicking on the individual speakers.