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News > Mr. Chartier, Economic Affairs Officer in Transport Division of ESCAP, attended the National Conference on Public Private Partnership for Infrastructure Development, and delivered a speech as the representative of ESCAP.


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Mr. Chartier, Economic Affairs Officer in Transport Division of ESCAP, attended the National Conference on Public Private Partnership for Infrastructure Development, and delivered a speech as the representative of ESCAP.

 

 

National Conference on Public Private Partnership Tehran, 30 June – 1 July 2012

 

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Youre Excellency Dr. Moradi, Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very good morning to you all. It is an honour and privilege for ESCAP to be represented today at this National Conference on public and private participation in infrastructure development.

 

It was just over two years ago in Jakarta at the Second Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Public Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Development that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran very generously offered to organize and host the "Third Asia-Pacific PPP Ministerial Conference".

 

This national conference starting today is one of the major preparatory events aimed at identifying the issues most likely to be of interest to policy makers from around the region and guarantee the success of the ministerial conference.

 

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Delegates,

 

Over the last two decades many countries of the Asia-Pacific region have experienced rapid economic development. Serving this development, were infrastructure networks which managed to provide much needed economic services. Yet, while being buoyed up by high GDP growth rates, many emerging economies are now realizing that infrastructure networks have reached saturation point to the extent that future growth is hampered by a shortage of roads, telecommunications, airports, power plants, sanitation facilities and other basic infrastructure.

 

Clearly, the demand for economic and social infrastructure has exceeded supply and “infrastructure gaps” have become apparent. These gaps raise uncomfortable questions. Will countries of the region continue to get richer? Will our business community continue to be competitive? Will our population continue to enjoy improved living standards? Can we deliver to farmers in our hinterland the all-weather roads that we have been promising them for so long? Will governments be on the winning or losing side in the quest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?

 

Maybe all these questions can be contained in just one: how do we finance our appetite for more infrastructure? A question all the more difficult that we all know that the financial requirements for developing and maintaining the infrastructure necessary for such economic and social development are beyond the current budgetary resources of most, if not all, governments.

 

As a result, governments are seeking alternative mechanisms for financing, developing, operating and maintaining infrastructure and there is now wide acceptance that Public-Private Partnerships can contribute significantly in this search.

 

Indeed, significant progress has been made by ESCAP member countries in creating an environment conducive to Public-Private Partnerships as well as in using the PPP modality.

 

Over the two decades 1990-2011, the World Bank database recorded a total investment of about US$ 823 billion in public-private partnership projects in countries of the Asia-Pacific region with projects in energy and telecommunication being the main recipients followed by transport.

 

Over the same two decades, US$ 350 billion were invested in public-private partnership projects in 56 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation with, again, the energy and telecommunications sectors being the most attractive ahead of transport and water with Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia leading the group of recipient countries.

 

Closer examination of these experiences also reveals that the landscape of PPP is a fluctuating one. For example, while in the 1990s recipients countries in the Asia-Pacific region were located in South-East Asia, PPP investment in the subregion declined in the 2000s to shift to South Asia and, to a certain extent, Central Asia.

 

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Delegates,

 

While governments may desire to engage the private sector in infrastructure development, the process of forging cooperation and developing partnerships with the private sector faces a range of difficulties, if only because government officials do not always possess the necessary training, experience and skills to analyze and remove constraints that prevent the emergence of a conducive environment to private sector engagement. To facilitate this private sector engagement, many areas of public sector frameworks need to be adapted and implemented.  Regulatory, legislative and governance measures as well as understanding roles and risk transfer need to be set in place.

 

Many countries of the region have been taking measures to promote PPPs.  These have included the development of legislation and regulations, issuance of guidelines on policy and procedures, establishment of PPP units or cells, development of model concession agreements along with enabling legislation and regulations, that more adequately match the needs of the infrastructure sectors. However, many of these countries still face difficulties in their efforts to implement PPP.

 

Recognizing these particular challenges and aware of the risk of holding back economic and social development if key infrastructure projects are delayed, ESCAP has initiated a number of activities aiming to increase the knowledge of government officials with respect to the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

 

As the first step to enable this, ESCAP has developed a “PPP-Readiness Self Assessment” tool to assist governments in identifying key areas that they need to address in order to involve the private sector more actively in the development process. The tool is based on a questionnaire to be completed by public and private stakeholders who can then proceed to discuss the commonality and difference in their perceptions of the PPP environment in their respective countries and agree on the necessary process to strengthen the weaker areas. The tool has been applied to assess PPP-readiness in countries, including Bangladesh, Mongolia, Myanmar and countries of Central Asia.

 

ESCAP has also been supporting the PPP initiatives of countries through the development of PPP training material and the convening of conferences, including three Ministerial Conferences on Infrastructure, in New Delhi in October 1996, Seoul in November 2001 and Busan in November 2006; as well as two Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conferences on Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Development, in Seoul in October 2007 and Jakarta in April 2010.

 

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Delegates,

 

ESCAP welcomes the opportunity to cooperate in the months to come with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in organizing the Third Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Public Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Development to be held in Tehran from 11 to 14 November 2012.

 

In this respect, we believe that this Conference is very timely. I just came here from Ankara where I took part in the 11th meeting of heads of railways of countries that are members of the Economic Cooperation Organization. This was an opportunity for me to see at first hand the number of railway projects being considered to develop efficient connectivity between the Islamic Republic of Iran and its neighbours, in particular to provide Central Asian republics with efficient transit to the port of Bandar Abbas and, in future, to the port of Chabahar. I took advantage of the meeting to advertise the upcoming Ministerial Conference to ECO member States and also to the representatives of the Islamic Development Bank as well as the newly-created ECO Trade and Development Bank based in Istanbul. I am pleased to report to you that all of them expressed an interest in participating.

 

Much remains to be done to organize the Conference and much remains to be done to pave the way for successful Public Private Partnership. This National Conference is certainly an excellent starting point towards success and I wish you every success in your deliberations.

 

Thank you for your attention.

 


11:18 - 17/07/2012    /    Number : 369    /    Show Count : 1034



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